Everyone knows that it is healthy to exercise. We have all heard about the heart benefits. While it is easy to say “get more exercise”, the reality is that it is not so easy to do. These days, people are time-crunched like never before. Life is stressful and we just do not have much left over after our jobs and families to do much else. However, finding the time to exercise will offer many benefits that will make it truly worth the time and effort.

Why Should We Exercise?
1. It helps reduce fatigue and gives us more energy. Some people may not have the energy to start an exercise regimen and this can prove to be a vicious circle. But, over time. exercise will improve energy levels.
2 .A sedentary lifestyle has been shown to be an independent risk factor for heart disease. Many studies have shown exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, including heart attacks.
3. Exercise can improve depression. As noted above, it may seem near impossible to begin exercising when feeling tired or depressed. But, many evidence based studies have proven that exercise improves the symptoms of depression.
4. Regular exercise helps control weight. Exercise boosts metabolism and helps burn off calories. Without physical exercise, calories tend to turn to fat more easily making weight difficult to control.
5. Exercise has also been shown to improve sleep. However, it is not recommended to exercise too near bedtime because the opposite effect may occur.
6. Exercise can also reduce the adverse effects that stress may have on our bodies. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco in 2010 found that women who exercised had fewer signs of stress and aging at the cellular level.
7. Exercise has also been shown to improve mental functioning by increasing serotonin in the brain. Likewise, it has been shown that people who exercise are more productive.
8. Newer studies have shown that seniors who exercised have a reduced risk of developing dementia.
9. It can be fun. Exercise does not have to be boring or hard work. The best way to start a successful exercise habit is to find something you enjoy. If you are not in good physical condition, start with walking.

There are many health benefits of participating in a regular exercise routine. It is recommended to aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 days out of the week. It is also recommended to include stretching and strengthening exercises, to increase flexibility and avoid injury. The best way to start is to start slow and increase gradually. No one needs an injury when they are starting on their exercise journey. And use common sense: if it hurts, stop. Muscle aches are OK but pain is not. Your body is sending you a signal that you are doing something wrong or pushing it too much. And most importantly, have fun!

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