The Benefits of Exercise and Other Physical Activity


This Straight, No Chaser addresses exercise benefits!

physical activity

At Straight, No Chaser, we understand it’s the most optimistic time of the year. You’ve made many New Year’s resolutions, usually related to smoking cessation, eating better, lowering your levels of stress and starting an exercise routine. We’re here to help. We feature our best advice to educate and motivate you as you pursue those goals.
As we begin the conversation on the benefits of exercise, we will split the conversation into the “why” and the “how.” This post will remind you of why keeping your body moving is so important and why, no matter your age, sex, ethnicity, physical condition or presence of existing disease, you can improve from your current state.
Remember that your heart is a muscle, the purpose of which is to pump blood with its nutrients and oxygen around the body, supplying your organs. The more efficiently that muscle performs, the healthier you’ll be, because your vital organs will stay nourished. It’s important to restate that everything is relative, so starting with most any regular activity that’s more than your current baseline will improve your conditioning and eventually your health.

The Benefits of Exercise

How, you might ask! Here are medically established ways that a routine of regular exercise provides physical and mental health benefits.
  • Weight control by burning calories.
  • Reduction of your risk of cardiovascular disease by improving your heart’s function. Exercise lowers the risk of both heart attacks and strokes.
  • Exeercise reduces your risk for type 2 diabetes and combinations of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high glucose levels (together known as metabolic syndrome).
  • Reduction of your risk of colon and breast cancers. Also, exercise likely reduces your risk of endometrial and lung cancers.
  • Improvement of the functioning of your immune system
  • Strengthening of your bones and muscles. Exercise also keeps your joints functioning well.
  • Maintainance of your mobility and agility. Also, exercise improves your ability to perform the activities of daily living and prevent falls as you age.
  • Exercise slows the development of arthritis.


Wait! There’s More!

  • Exercise improves your mental health and mood by stimulating pleasurable parts of your brain and improving blood flow to your brain.
  • It reduces the rate of depression.
  • Also, exercise reduces the development of insomnia and other sleep disorders.

The sum total of these facts is that exercise increases your chances of living longer.

At Straight, No Chaser, we talk a lot about healthy and unhealthy decisions and the impact these decisions have on the length and quality of your life. There aren’t many lifestyle decisions you can make that will more positively impact those than the decision to stay physically active. Furthermore, that decision doesn’t need to be followed by the fear that in order to improve your health you have to turn your body into that of a stereotypical teenager, body builder or model. Moderate activity will produce measurable health improvements. In a subsequent post, we will explore the “how” of physical activity to improve your health, but for now, don’t just sit there.

Do something!


If you can sprint, do so.

Can’t sprint? Then jog.

If you can’t jog, walk.

Even it you can’t walk, move what you can!

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