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Physical Activity Basics

Benefits of Physical Activity

Being physically active is an important factor to improve and maintain your health. Engaging in physical activity helps:

Control your weight: Strong scientific evidence shows that physical activity can help you maintain your weight over time.

It's the Only One You Have

Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease: Physical activity can put you at a lower risk for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Regular physical activity can also lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.

Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes: Not only can being physically active help reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, if you already have diabetes regular physical activity can help control your blood glucose levels.

Reduce your risk of some cancers: Being physically active lowers your risk for colon and breast cancer. Research shows that cancer survivor’s quality of life is improved if they are physically active.

Strengthen your bones and muscles: Research shows that doing aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities of at least a moderately-intense level can slow the loss of bone density that comes with age. It also can help arthritis sufferers manage pain and improve their ability to do everyday tasks.

Improve your mental health and mood: Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better.

Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls: Research shows that doing balance and muscle-strengthening activities each week along with moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, can help reduce your risk of falling.


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