Exercise is essential to a healthy body. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to coronary artery disease, obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension), and a low level of high density lipids (HDL) cholesterol. Studies show that people who exercise regularly after heart surgery have a better survival rate.
Exercise can improve your muscular and skeletal systems, benefit your heart and circulatory system, and improve your flexibility. When you increase your heart rate during exercise, you improve the efficiency of your heart. You build stronger bones and muscles, which makes the frame of your body stronger. In addition, you increase your flexibility, which will decrease your chance for injury and bodily aches.
Healthy individuals should exercise for at least 30 minutes, three to four days a week. This should be done at 50 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. Good exercises include brisk walking, stair-climbing, running, bicycling, swimming, or a sport such as basketball. Remember it is always best to consult your physician or another trained professional if you are just starting to exercise.
The American Heart Association created the following table to outline estimated target heart rates.
Studies prove that people who exercise consistently are more likely to decrease their smoking habits or stop smoking altogether. People are less likely to develop diabetes when they are at their ideal weight. Furthermore, exercise may decrease a diabetic's requirements for insulin. One of the cholesterol-carrying proteins in the blood, high density lipids, is increased with regular activity. These lipids carry harmful cholesterol through your bloodstream so it doesn't build up and cause coronary artery disease.
In addition to improving your physical body, regular exercise has been linked to psychological benefits. It reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, improves mood, and promotes a feeling of well-being.