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Exercise: The Rewards of Fitness

Do you need to be convinced that exercise is a good idea? Exercise and fitness offer you all kinds of rewards. Think about your goals. Can exercise help you achieve some of them?

Middle-aged African American couple walking.

A Stronger and Happier You

Even before you see the difference, you will feel the difference. Here are three ways you will benefit from more activity:

Physical fitness. You’ll have more stamina. You’ll also enjoy recreation more. And you’ll keep your strength and independence as you age.

Mental fitness. You’ll manage stress better, be less tense, think more clearly, and maybe even sleep better.

Long-term health. Your risk of some diseases may go down. This includes heart disease, osteoporosis (thinning bones), some cancers, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Check Your Health First

If you answer “yes” to any of the questions below, you should talk to your doctor before beginning a fitness program:

  1. Has a doctor ever said you have heart trouble?

  2. Do you ever have chest pains?

  3. Do you often feel faint or have dizzy spells?

  4. Has a doctor ever said your blood pressure is too high?

  5. Has a doctor ever said that you have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by exercise?

  6. Do you take any prescription medications for problems such as diabetes or asthma?

Will I Lose Weight?

Many of us would like to lose or keep off a few pounds. Being more active each day and building muscle can help. Here’s how:

  • Being active burns calories. You burn nearly twice as many calories just walking slowly as you do sitting.

  • Muscle burns more calories than fat. So the more muscle you build up from activity, the more calories you burn.

  • If you add more muscle, you’ll use more calories even when you’re inactive.

  • Being active helps you retain more muscle as you age. More muscle means it’ll be easier to control your weight.

Online Medical Reviewer: Carman, Jody, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Pape, Joy, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN
Last Review Date: 2/27/2012
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.