What are the positive effects of exercise on health?
Chronic disease prevention.
Exercise helps decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, high cholesterol and even cancer. Strength training increases bone density, in turn decreasing the risk of developing osteoporosis. Cardiovascular training increases muscular endurance and helps strengthen the heart. The American Heart Association states that "regular physical activity can help control blood lipid abnormalities, diabetes and obesity. Aerobic physical activity can also help reduce blood pressure." Medical experts believe that exercise can improve mood and quality of life for people living with HIV. Exercise helps them grow stronger, improve endurance, and helps protect them opportunistic infections.
Angiogenesis is the physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Exercise stimulates the process of angiogenesis, and it serves as a mechanism that repairs damaged blood vessels. This is beneficial to those who suffer from diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Many of these conditions cause damage to blood vessels, leading to impaired blood flow to the heart and major muscles.
Longevity and quality of life
Engaging in physical activity adds years to one's life and leads to increased independence into advanced age. Active older adults are better able to complete daily living activities such as grocery shopping, walking up and down stairs, and reaching for or lifting objects. The American Council on Exercise cites a study by the University of California, San Diego, that looked at 78 sedentary but healthy middle-aged men and showed that those who started working out regularly reported more frequent sexual activity and orgasms. During the study, the men exercised three to four times per week for 60 minutes per session.
The textbook "Clinical Exercise Physiology" says that "every U.S. adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all days of the week." A regular workout routine should consist of strength training, cardiovascular training and flexibility. Begin each exercise session with a warmup and end with a cooldown and stretch.