Moderate Exercise Yields Big Benefits
Written by Mayo Clinic
What’s the key to looking and feeling better and enhancing your health? Exercise. A new study suggests the much-touted moderate-intensity walk should translate to about 100 steps per minute, or 3,000 steps in 30 minutes.
Moderately strenuous exercise, about 30 minutes a day, can lead to enormous benefits in terms of your mood, health, weight and the ability to live an independent and fulfilling life. Moderately strenuous exercise has been shown to prevent many diseases and conditions and increase your quality of life. The exercise doesn’t need to be athletic or difficult. Studies have shown that simply walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes or more on most days can lead to significant health benefits. Add simple strengthening exercises two or three times a week and the benefits are even greater.
Accroding to the Mayo Clinic some of the main benefits of 30 minutes of exercise a day include:
- Prevent cancer: Exercise has been shown to strengthen the immune system, improve circulation, reduce body fat and speed digestion. Each has a role in preventing cancer, particularly colorerctal cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cance, and uterine lining cancer.
- Maintain mental well-being: Exercise may help reduce stress, improve mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety, improve sleep and boost moods.
- Increase energy and stamina: A lack of energy often results from inactivity, not age.
- Lower blood pressure: A reduction of 5 to 10 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is possible. In some cases, that’s enough to prevent or reduce the need for blood pressure medications.
- Improve cholesterol: Exercise often increases the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol in the blood), especially when accompanied by weight loss. Exercise also helps reduce triglyceride levels.
- Prevent or manage type 2 diabetes: Exercise has shown to reduce the risk to diabetes Exercise also helps insulin work better, lowering blood sugar which is beneficial to help manage diabetes.
- Manage weight: Coupling exercise with a healthy diet is the best way to shed fat and maintain a healthier body composition.
- Prevent osteoporosis: Exerecise has shown to reduce the risk to osteoporosis. Exercise may increase bone density and protect against bone mass decline, especially if weight-bearing activities are involved.