Saturday, March 15, 2008

Why Exercise ? 20 Reasons

By Michael Stefano
eDiets Contributor

With all we now know about the benefits of exercise, it's hard to believe more people don't work out. It's the closest thing yet to the fountain of youth, and truly the only way to change the appearance, shape and strength of your body.

In addition, the health benefits associated with an intelligently orchestrated strength, flexibility and cardiovascular training program can add quality years to your life.

Everyone exercises for different reasons. But no matter your initial motivation,you still get all the benefits. Below is a list of 20 reasons why you should work out. If you can find even one benefit on this list, you'll have enough reason to begin an exercise program and take steps to take care of yourself.

Regular exercise can...

* Help you lose weight, especially fat

* Improve your physical appearance

* Increase your level of muscular strength and endurance

* Maintain your resting metabolic rate to prevent weight gain

* Increase your stamina and ability to do continuous work

* Improve fitness levels, or your body's ability to use oxygen

* Provide protection against injury

* Improve your balance and coordination

* Increase bone mineral density to prevent osteoporosis

* Lower resting heart rate and blood pressure

* Lower Body Mass Index (BMI) -- your fat-to-height ratio

* Reduce triglycerides, bad cholesterol (LDL), raises good cholesterol (HDL)

* Enhance sexual desire and performance

* Reduce heart disease risk and stroke

* Reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer

* Increase insulin sensitivity -- prevents Type 2 diabetes

* Reduce your level of anxiety and help you manage stress

* Improve function of the immune system

* Improve your self-esteem and restore confidence

* Help you sleep better, relax and improve mood

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