Exercise benefits list

Man jogging in park, getting exercise benefits
© Ed Yourdon

I came across this exercise benefits list today, and as I’ve been meaning to compile one, I thought I’d post it up.

I’ll add to it as I come across other benefits. It’s a great motivator — to just read the list and see all those benefits for your time and effort…

The biggest one isn’t there so I’ll mention it now — feeling good :-)

  • Decreased resting and submaximal exercise heart rate
  • Increased heart stroke volume at all exercise work loads
  • Increased maximal exercise cardiac output
  • Lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness
  • Increased aerobic capacity
  • Increased strength and cross-sectional area of skeletal muscle
  • Delayed loss of muscle mass and strength with aging and physical frailty
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Improved flexibility
  • Reduced osteoporosis
  • Reduced joint stress and back pain
  • Decreased gallstone disease
  • Improved endothelial function
  • Decreased incidence of myocardial ischemia
  • Less myocardial damage from ischemia
  • Decreased oxidative stress
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Improved immune function
  • Decreased liver steatosis and fatty liver disease
  • Improved insulin sensitivity and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Less likelihood of depression, anxiety, stress and poor psychological well-being
  • Ameliorating hyperlipidemia: lower total cholesterol, higher HDL, and decreased blood triglycerides
  • Improved cognitive function in the elderly
  • Increased blood flow and neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hypothalamus
  • Prevention of the loss of brain volume in the elderly
  • Delay in decline of physiological reserve in organ systems with aging

Combine the benefits of regular exercise with the other five lifestyle elements and you’ve got a serious recipe for health and happiness.

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Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.

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6 thoughts on “Exercise benefits list

  1. ooooh I like your list MUCH better Kathryn! Much easier to remember :-) I find people are motivated by looking better even more than feeling better.

    Perhaps priority in wrong order? But no matter — we get to have both :-)


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