US Department of Health & Human Services: Get Active

Excerpted from US Department of Health & Human Services Office of Women’s Health

You have probably heard by now that physical activity is good for you. Well, the news in favor of regular physical activity keeps coming in! The new 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans state that an active lifestyle can lower your risk of early death from a variety of causes. There is strong evidence that regular physical activity can also lower your risk of:

• Heart disease
• Stroke
• High blood pressure
• Unhealthy cholesterol levels
• Type 2 diabetes
• Metabolic syndrome
• Colon cancer
• Breast cancer
• Falls
• Depression

Regular activity can help prevent unhealthy weight gain and also help with weight loss, when combined with lower calorie intake. It can also improve your cardiorespiratory (heart, lungs, and blood vessels) and muscular fitness. For older adults, activity can improve mental function. Physical activity may also help:

• Improve functional health for older adults
• Reduce waistline size
• Lower risk of hip fracture
• Lower risk of lung cancer
• Lower risk of endometrial cancer
• Maintain weight after weight loss
• Increase bone density
• Improve sleep quality

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