Physical activity helps you lose weight by burning calories, boosting your resting metabolism, and buffering you from bone and muscle loss that can result if you diet alone.
Exercise helps you get better sleep. In one study, people who exercised three hours a week had one-third fewer insomnia problems.
Half-hour aerobic sessions three to five times a week have been shown to cut symptoms of mild to moderate depression nearly in half. One study suggests that exercise can be as effective as drugs in treating major depressive disorder.
High levels of physical activity can decrease your risk of colon cancer by 40 to 50 percent.
Exercising for just one hour or two a week can reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by nearly 20 percent.
Aerobic exercise, such as a half hour of rapid walking five days a week, has been shown to cut the risk of catching a cold nearly in half.
Working out — resistance training in particular — helps maintain, and even modestly increase, bone density to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
People who work out have more energy than non-exercisers, according to researchers at the University of Georgia, based on a review of 70 studies. That boost, on average, beats the effect of stimulant drugs.
An active lifestyle halves the risk of developing heart disease. Weight resistance training significantly improves heart health. If you’re at high risk for diabetes, working out 30 minutes a day or more, combined with a low-fat diet, can reduce the chance of developing the disease by 58 percent.
Just working out 30 minutes three days a week may reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by 30 to 40 percent, according to a study last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine. For healthy older adults, a six-month program of exercise can reverse the age-related loss of brain tissue that begins around age 40 by two to three years, especially in regions responsible for memory and higher cognition.