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The Importance of Lifelong Exercise and How It Can Affect Your Health

Nov 28, 2010

As the general population of the world continues to live longer and longer, the importance of lifelong exercise becomes more and more obvious. Exercise is not only a way to help boost your mood, but it has also been found to be effective at moderating weight gain, and preventing osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. If you have already been diagnosed with one of these conditions, be sure to talk to your doctor in order to make sure you are healthy enough to start an exercise program.

Weight Gain

One of the most important ways in which lifelong exercise can affect your health is in its ability to help manage your weight. Weight gain or lose is governed by two things--calories consumed versus calories burned. While you can control the amount of food you eat as you age, research has found that natural changes in your metabolism can result in changes in how your body handles the fat and calories of the food you consume. Therefore, starting an exercise program at a young age, and sticking to it throughout your life, is essential to help you control your weight. Cardiovascular workouts, strength, and flexibility training should all be performed on a regular basis in order to achieve optimal results.

Cardiovascular Disease

Lifelong exercise can also significantly help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Typically, cardiovascular disease is caused by a number of risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a strong family history. As discussed above, obesity can be greatly prevented through participation in a vigorous exercise program. Similarly, high blood pressure and diabetes can be treated and prevented through physical activity. While you can do nothing about your family history of cardiovascular disease, managing the other risk factors will cause your total risk of the disease to decrease dramatically.

Osteoporosis

Next, starting and sticking to an exercise program can be a successful way to help you treat and prevent osteoporosis. Unlike obesity and cardiovascular disease, which generally strike regardless of age or gender, osteoporosis typically happens only to women who are past the age of menopause. While some of the physiologic changes that happen to women during this period of life cannot be prevented, increasing your total bone mass while you are still young can make any decreases in bone mass less serious. Fractured and broken bones are one of the leading causes of death among the elderly, and therefore any method that can be used to prevent the condition should be followed closely.

Cancer

Finally, participation in an exercise program has been found to have numerous benefits when it comes to the treatment and prevention of a number of types of cancer. Some cancers are prevented through the actual effects of exercise, while others may be oppressed from decreases in weight, blood pressure, and other secondary risk factors caused by a lack of exercise. While strength training may be effective in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular exercise has been found to provide the best results.

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