Living Longer, Healthier and Decreasing the Risk of Disease with Aerobics
Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA
Aerobic exercise has many benefits besides improve your fitness and your looks. A short list of benefits of including aerobics activity into your regime include:
Improve stamina and reduce fatigue.
Reduce stress and anxiety.
Improve mood and sense of well being. Research has shown that exercise can improve mood by elevating serotonin levels.
Improve blood fats.Aerobic exercise increases the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) and decreases the concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) in your blood.
Improve your immune system. People who exercise regularly are less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.
Improve sexual performance. In 2003, scientists at Harvard School of Public Health found that men who ran at least three hours each week reported sexual functioning like that of men two to five years younger.
Improve muscle and bone strength.
Aerobic exercise can also reduce the risks of many diseases and conditions, including but not limited to:
Coronary artery disease. Heart disease is one of the top causes of death for men and women in the United States. If you've had a heart attack, achieving a higher level of aerobic fitness can help prevent a second attack and decrease your risk of dying from coronary artery disease.
Hypertension (high blood pressure). If you have high blood pressure, aerobic exercise can help lower it.
Stroke. Improving blood fats results in less build-up of plaques in your arteries. Deposits of plaques in blood vessels leading to your brain can result in a stroke.
Cancers, including breast, colon, prostate and endometrial cancer.
Type 2 diabetes.Aerobic exercise helps you control your weight, reducing the likelihood of your being overweight or obese, conditions that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance disease. Aerobic exercise helps control blood surgar levels.
Aerobic exercise can also help manage chronic disease and conditions in the following ways:
Strengthen the heart. A stronger heart can pump more blood for every heartbeat, which means your heart doesn't need to beat as fast during rest or exercise.
Improve circulation. A stronger heart muscle pumps blood more efficiently.
Relieve chronic muscle pain and fibromyalgia. Aerobic exercise stimulates the growth of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) in your muscles. This helps your body deliver oxygen to your muscles more efficiently and remove irritating metabolic waste products, such as lactic acid.
Lower your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. Keeping your blood sugar within target range can help you avoid long-term complications of diabetes, such as kidney failure or heart disease.
Weight management. Combined with a healthy diet and appropriate strength training, aerobic exercise can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Most important, research has shown that regular aerobic exercise can extend your lifespan and improve the quality of life during your later years.