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Is Exercise Really That Important?

posted May 4, 2017, 12:02 PM by Tracy Ducker, MS, RDN
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. We all know that physical activity is good for us, but how good is it really? Physical activity increases our chances of a longer life, because it helps:
  •  Control your blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight
  •  Lower your “bad” cholesterol and raise your “good” cholesterol
  •  Prevent heart disease, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes


But that’s not all. Being more active can:

  • Be fun
  • Help you look your best
  • Help you sleep better
  • Make your bones, muscles, and joints stronger – think osteoporosis prevention
  • Lower your chances of becoming depressed  - 6.7% of U.S. adults have been diagnosed with depression 
  • Reduce falls and arthritis pain
  • Help you feel better about yourself

Is physical activity for everyone?

Yes! Physical activity is good for people of all ages and body types. Even if you feel out of shape or you haven’t been active in a long time, you can find activities that will work for you.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults:

  • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes things like walking fast, dancing, swimming, and raking leaves.
  • Do muscle-strengthening activities – like lifting weights or using exercise bands – at least 2 days a week.
  • Physical activity is for everyone. No matter what shape you are in, you can find activities that work for you. Together, we can rise to the challenge and get more active during the month of May!