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Daily exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. Exercise is especially important if you are an older adult. Unfortunately, as people get older they tend to exercise less. In fact, one study has found that “half of all baby boomers report doing no exercise whatsoever” (Oaklander). This post explores some of the reasons why exercise is so beneficial and offers some practical tips on how you can get more active.

Improve Your Mood

A recent study has found that people who engage in exercise are more likely to report feeling more energized. Additionally, the study’s subjects reported feeling less depressed as they worked out. Researchers believe that exercise spurs the brain to release hormones that contribute to a positive mood. Today many doctors recommend that people who suffer from depression should adopt an exercise routine before resorting to medication.

Prevent Disease

Exercise can help prevent a number of diseases including heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and diabetes. Many diseases are associated with being overweight, and exercise will help you shed pounds and keep them off. Even an activity as simple as walking will help your body ward off disease. Anything you do to lessen the pressure on your joints (like lose weight) will also help prevent or lessen the pain of arthritis.

Control Weight

A mentioned above exercise is the best way to burn calories and control your weight. As you get older it becomes easier to put on the pounds. Yet if you exercise regularly and monitor the food you eat, you will be able to prevent excess weight from accumulating and damaging your health.

Appearance

When you exercise you sweat. Dermatologists compare working up a sweat to “getting a mini-facial” since sweat helps get rid of the dirt trapped in your pores (Guthrie) . However, it’s still important to wash your face after your workout. Exercise also tones your muscles, and toned muscles will make you look stronger and healthier.

Better Sleep

Research shows that exercise can help you get better sleep. Researchers believe that exercise helps your body regulate the amount of cortisol that it produces. Cortisol has been linked to affecting sleep. After exercise, your body will also crave sleep so that it can recover and repair itself.

Getting Started

If you haven’t exercised for a long period of time, walking is the simplest activity that you can start with. Walking 30 minutes a day is all it takes to see some health benefits. Once you’re comfortable with walking you can then try jogging or cycling. You should also consider joining a gym. At the gym, you’ll have access to a pool and exercise equipment.

Some people find that enlisting a personal trainer helps them see the most health benefits. If you have avoided exercise due to a disability or undiagnosed pain, you should think about visiting a physiatrist. A physiatrist will be able to diagnose your problem and provide you with personal treatment so that you can be comfortably active.

Keep in mind that exercise alone won’t keep you healthy. Your diet is equally important to your health. Make sure you eat enough fruits and vegetables, and you limit the amount of junk food you indulge in. Daily exercise and the proper diet will make you healthier and help you live a longer, more fulfilling life.