Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Benefits of Exercise

Everyone knows about it, but not enough people do it. It's one of those situations where self-awareness is not enough.

Everyone knows of the extraordinary benefits that accrue to those who exercise regularly. And yet, Americans do not walk the talk. According to the CDC, around 20% of American adults do so.

It’s as good an excuse as any for the Huffington Post to run another article on why you should begin training now:

While most of us are probably aware of the powerful benefits of regular exercise, we're clearly not all convinced: Just about 20 percent of American adults over the age of 18 meet the government's recommended guidelines when it comes to physical activity, according to a CDC report.

The facts are unambiguous:

Consider a few profound factoids: Regular exercisers have a 40 percent lower risk of developing dementia, and a 60 percent lower risk of any type of cognitive impairment, according to a 2012 study. In young adults, regular exercise can increase bone mineral density by as much as 2 to 8 percent a year, according to the New York Times, helping to prevent dangerous falls and fractures later in life.

Some of the big differences between sedentary and active people are obviously beneficial, like a longer lifespan or a less-taxed heart. Others are a little less clear, like a higher maximal oxygen uptake, or VO2max, which reflects a regular exerciser's increased capacity for aerobic exercise, or a more efficient sweating response, which helps regular exercisers cool their bodies quickly. Check out these and other differences exercise makes. 

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