3rd Year Week 1 MT05

Topic: Living heartily

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20 Proven health benefits of exercise

Think about it. A 30-minute walk every day can probably do more for your health than all the efforts of a dozen doctors and ten different types of medication.

Not only does exercise improve your health, even if you have already been diagnosed with something, but it can go a long way to prevent the onset of several life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.



And exercise can make you look great? younger, fitter and thinner. Who needs any more convincing?

We have scrutinized the medical journals. Here's a summary of the proven health benefits of exercise:

1. It's good for your heart
"Even a moderate amount of exercise helps your heart," says Dr William Kraus, associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Centre in an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine. "Some exercise is better than none and more is better than less."

Exercise reduces LDL cholesterol, the kind that clogs arteries. It also reduces your blood pressure, relieving stress on your heart, it improves your insulin sensitivity, improves the the heart muscle function and blood flow and it diminishes the chances of developing blood clots. These findings have been corroborated by a host of studies over the years.

2. Exercise promotes weight loss
Research has shown that to have an effect on weight loss you need to exercise for 30 minutes a day. You can also do an hour of intensive exercise every second day if this fits into your schedule more easily. Be consistent and be regular. Do those one hour exercise sessions three to four times every week, not just one week a month, and you will achieve the result you desire - to lose weight and keep it off, says Dr Ingrid van Heerden, registered dietician.

Health 24.com