The relationship between diet and weight loss is well understood and documented. Diet and eating habits have more impact on weight than what you do for exercise will. The literature on weight loss has explained that efforts to lose weight should be comprised of 80% diet modification and 20% exercise consistency. Those numbers can be discouraging and can deter some from engaging in regular exercise at all, especially if your main concern is weight reduction. If you are feeling that way, let me remind you of the other great health benefits that exercise has to offer. There are better improvements seen in health markers like weight, cholesterol and blood pressure when diet is combined with exercise rather than when either of the two variables are done separately.

Exercise can benefit so much more than just the physical appearance, and Weight Loss is just one piece of the health puzzle. Exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and a healthy muscular system. Cardiac health markers such as heart rate and cardiac output start to decline with age but exercising regularly will help combat the effects of aging on the whole body later. If you are already at a healthy weight and you don’t think exercise is for you, please continue to read and maybe you will learn about how exercise can help prolong your health and your quality of life.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

Here are the facts as outlined by the American College of Sports Medicine. This section is full of medical terms and maybe a bit dry but it is worth the read. If you have any questions you can always post in the comments and I will be happy to explain or elaborate.

  • Improvements in Cardiovascular and Respiratory Function

    • Increased Maximal Oxygen Uptake

    • Decreased Minute Ventilation

    • Decreased Myocardial Oxygen Costs

    • Decreased Sub-maximal Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

    • Increased Capillary Density

    • Increased Exercise Threshold for accumulation of lactate in the Blood

    • Increase Exercise Threshold for the onset of disease

  • Reduction in Cardiovascular Risk Factors

    • Reduced Resting Systolic/Diastolic Pressure

    • Increased HDL and Decreased Triglycerides

    • Reduced Total Body Fat, Reduced Intra-abdominal Fat

    • Reduced Insulin needs, Improved Glucose Tolerance (decreased risk of diabetes)

    • Reduced Blood Platelet Adhesiveness and Aggregation (less plaque build-up and less artery disease)

    • Reduced Inflammation

  • Decreased Morbidity and Mortality

    • Primary Prevention (Interventions to prevent the initial occurrence of disease)

    • Lower Death Rates from Coronary Disease

    • Lower Incidents of CVD, CAD, Stoke, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Metabolic Syndrome, Osteoporotic fractures, Breast and Colon Cancers, and Gallbladder Disease

    • Secondary Prevention (Interventions After Cardiac Events to prevent  Future Events)

    • Reduced Mortality (death) in participants who have started regular exercise after a Cardiac Event

  • Other Benefit

    • Decreased Anxiety and Depression

    • Improved Cognitive Function

    • Enhanced Physical Function and Independent Living in Older Adults

    • Enhanced Feelings of Well-being

    • Enhanced Performance of Work, Recreational and Physical Activities

    • Reduced Risk of Falls and Injuries in Older Adults

    • Prevention or Mitigation of Functional Limitations

    • Effective Therapy for Many Chronic Diseases in Older Adults