- Exercise benefits every part of the body, including the mind. Exercising causes the body to make chemicals that can help a person feel good. Exercise can help people sleep better.
- It can also help some people who have mild depression and low self-esteem. Plus, exercise can give people a real sense of accomplishment and pride at having achieved a goal — like beating an old time in the 100-meter dash.
- Exercise helps people lose weight and lower the risk of some diseases. Exercising regularly lowers a person’s risk of developing some diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Exercise also can help keep your body at a healthy weight.
- Exercise can help a person age well. This may not seem important now, but your body will thank you later. For example, osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones) can be a problem as people get older. Weight-bearing exercise — like jumping, running, or brisk walking — can help keep bones strong.
The three parts of a balanced exercise routine are: aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility training.
Like other muscles, the heart enjoys a good workout. Aerobic exercise is any type of exercise that gets the heart pumping and gets you breathing harder. When you give your heart and lungs this kind of workout regularly, they get stronger and are better at getting oxygen (in the form of oxygen-carrying blood cells) to all parts of your body.
If you play team sports, you’re probably getting at least 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous activity on practice days. Some team sports that give you a great aerobic workout are basketball, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, and rowing.
But if you don’t play team sports, don’t worry — there are plenty of ways to get aerobic exercise. These include biking, running, swimming, dancing, in-line skating, tennis, cross-country skiing, hiking, and walking quickly.
The heart isn’t the only muscle to benefit from regular exercise. The other muscles in your body enjoy exercise too. When you use your muscles, they become stronger.
Strong muscles are also a plus because they support your joints and help prevent injuries. Muscle also use more energy than fat does, so building your muscles will help you burn more calories and maintain a healthy weight
Make physical activity a priority to:
- Improve your memory and brain function (all age groups).
- Protect against many chronic diseases.
- Aid in weight management.
- Lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
- Improve your quality of sleep.
- Reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
- Combat cancer-related fatigue.
- Improve joint pain and stiffness.
- Maintain muscle strength and balance.
- Increase life span.
Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement.
Physical therapists treat people of all ages and abilities and empower you to take an active part in your care. After an evaluation, your physical therapist will create a treatment plan for your specific needs and goals.