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Fitness Program Benefits For You


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Your fitness program could save your life

Your lung fitness lets you breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.

Your cardiovascular fitness promotes blood circulating throughout your body providing nutrients to every cell and removing waste.

Your memory and thinking depend on your cerebrovascular fitness.

Just moving through life’s daily activities depends on the fitness of your peripheral nerves, muscles, and skeletal systems.

Need proof?

Scientific research on fitness program benefits

There are thousands of studies on human fitness and exercise benefits. Here’s a sampling of them:

  • A recent review of the literature found that fitness program benefits include reducing the risk of the majority of chronic diseases including heart disease, cancers, diabetes, belly fat and obesity, depression, osteoporosis, and more.

    Reviewed studies showed improvements of up to 75% reduction of breast cancer, 49% reduction of heart disease, 35% reduction of diabetes, and 23% reduction of colorectal cancer.

    Studies also showed that regular physical activity was two times more effective in preventing weight gain than inactivity (Kruk J, Asian Pacific Journal Cancer Prevention, 2007).

  • Daily physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle helped prevent up to 77% of heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) in a group of women.

    In a six year study of 24,444 postmenopausal women, those who had the highest amounts of five lifestyle factors had 77% less heart attacks.

    The greatest protection from heart attack was with at least 40 minutes of daily walking or bicycling, in addition to one hour of moderate exercise workouts per week.

    The other protective lifestyle factors were a healthy diet, maintaining healthy weight, restricting alcohol to moderate amounts, and no smoking (Akesson A, Archives Internal Medicine, 2007).

  • One well-known fitness program benefit is its action as an antidepressant.

    Studies looking at genetic involvement in exercise benefits target the gene that codes VGF nerve growth factor, a protein precursor.

    Now preliminary animal research shows that this gene and the protein VGF nerve growth factor are related to strong antidepressant action also, which opens many new doors for research (Everitt AV, Clinical Interv. Aging, 2006).

  • A review of clinical trials and studies exploring lifestyle factors and diabetes type 2 show that 30 minutes of moderate or high intensity workouts daily is effective and safe to help prevent adult-onset diabetes throughout the world (Hu G, Applied Physiol. Nutr. Metab., 2007)

  • Fitness program benefits include reduced mortality from all causes. A study of 4060 adults over the age of 60 continued for 30 years with an average follow-up of 13.6 years. People with the highest levels of cardiorespiratory fitness had significantly less deaths (almost 40% reduced risk) from any cause than those with the lowest levels of fitness (Sui X, Journal American Geriatric Society, 2007).

  • A study from Belgium explored the social costs of maintaining physical exercise over a 25 year period. Not only were fitness programs cost-effective, but they provided more benefits than many other currently financed public health programs.

Your lifestyle benefits

There you have it.

Daily exercise helps keep you alive, makes you healthier, makes you feel good, and can save money too.

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This page was last updated by Sharon Jones.

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