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Want a long, healthy life? Start exercising.
Want a long, healthy life? Start exercising.

Want a long, healthy life? Start exercising.

Thursday, April 25, 2024


The American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and almost every other health organization and health system recommend that exercise is good for your health. This is nothing new. Do you know the long-term benefits of being active? 


When you exercise enough to raise your heart rate and work your muscles, you are helping almost every system in your body. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the long-term benefits of exercising include reducing the risk of: 

  • Heart disease 

  • Stroke 

  • Type 2 diabetes 

  • Dementia 

  • Depression 

  • Cancers including bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung and stomach 


Harvard Health Publishing also states exercising: 

  • Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure. 

  • Keeps harmful plaque from accumulating in your arteries. 

  • Reduces inflammation. 

  • Improves blood sugar levels. 

  • Strengthens bones. 

  • Combats depression. 

  • Improves sleep. 


The American Heart Association reports that being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight can lead to living seven years longer than non-active and obese people. Plus, they say those extra seven years are healthier.  


In addition to living longer and healthier, exercise can also help you live happier. Based on a study, Karmel Choi, a clinical and research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said, “We saw a 26% decrease in odds for becoming depressed for each major increase in objectively measured physical activity … (meaning) if you replaced 15 minutes of sitting with 15 minutes of running, or one hour of sitting with one hour of moderate activity like brisk walking.” 


There are also several short-term benefits of exercising. For information on these, read our blog, Need motivation to exercise?


Before starting any workout program, talk to your family doctor for recommendations so you can safely begin at the appropriate level.  


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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.