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Most people know exercise is important for good health and it can improve your overall well-being physically and mentally. It can help you lose weight, reduce high blood pressure and even prevent many illnesses, before they can occur.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are seven specific advantages to exercising regularly.

1. Exercise can improve your mood. Get moving when you are feeling stressed out, angry or blue. A vigorous walk or work out can promote the release of neurotransmitters which help us feel calmer and happier. Regular exercise can also improve how you feel about yourself overall.

2. Exercise combats chronic diseases. Regular physical activity can help you prevent — or manage — high blood pressure and control cholesterol levels. Regular physical activity boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol while decreasing triglycerides. Exercising and lowering your triglycerides can improve blood flow and help protect your arteries from the build-up of plaques. It can also help prevent and slow down the progression of osteoporosis, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

3. Exercise helps control weight. Everyone knows exercise burns calories, but many people don’t think they have time to exercise or go to the gym. It doesn’t have to be difficult and all activity counts. Take a walk on your lunch break or get up from your desk every hour and walk for a few minutes. Park your car farther away in the parking lot or walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator. Moving your body is cumulative so every minute adds up.

4. Exercise boost your energy level. At first you may feel tired when you start getting regular exercise, but in time you will have much more energy because exercise increases the oxygen and nutrients in your blood system and tissues. This means your body works more efficiently and it improves your cardiovascular health.

5. Exercise can improve sleep. It’s true. If you exercise, you will usually find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, it’s best to not to exercise too close to bedtime because that can cause you to feel less tired and have make it difficult to drift off to sleep. For people who have sleep apnea, exercise can sometimes improve the condition through weight-loss.

6. Exercise can charge up your sex life. Losing weight, feeling better and having more energy can lead to more desire to have sex. In some cases, it can improve or prevent erectile dysfunction in men.

7. Exercise can be FUN! This one is sometimes the hardest for people to believe. Exercise can be hard work, but doesn’t have to be. Remember how much fun you had as a kid getting outside to shoot baskets or play dodge ball? There’s no reason you can’t do fun activities like this now-as an adult. Just get outside and move your body!

For more information visit the Mayo Clinic.


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