Harper College/Student Success/Exercise/Health & Wellness

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Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Getting children active from an early age can instill healthy habits that may last a lifetime. Older people and seniors get huge benefits from keeping active. Exercising for at least 30 minutes on a day is enough to off-set those risks and keep us healthy as adults. Whatever your stage of life, there are plenty of different exercise options to try. Exercise doesn’t just mean going to the gym or heading out for a run. It may be as simple as walking to and from the shops instead of getting in the car. Or even getting off the bus a few stops earlier. Even doing a little more exercise than usual can help reduce your risk of certain long-term health conditions. The many benefits of exercise are controlling weight, reduce risk of heart disease, manage blood sugars and insulin level, improve mental health and mood, strengthen your bones and muscles, reduce risk of some cancers.

  • Control weight: Inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity. To maintain your weight, the calories you eat and drink must equal the energy you burn. To lose weight, you must use more calories than you eat and drink. Some amount of activity is better than none at all. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.
  • Reduce risk of heart: No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Manage Blood Pressure: Exercise can lower your blood sugar level and help your insulin work better. This can cut down your risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. And if you already have one of those diseases, exercise can help you to manage it. Exercise can lower your blood sugar level and help your insulin work better. This can cut down your risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. And if you already have one of those diseases, exercise can help you to manage it.
  • Mental Health and mood: Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious. This can help you deal with stress and reduce your risk of depression.
  • Strengthen Bones and Muscle: Regular exercise can help kids and teens build strong bones. Later in life, it can also slow the loss of bone density that comes with age. Doing muscle-strengthening activities can help you increase or maintain your muscle mass and strength.
  • Reduce risk of some cancer: including colon, breast , uterine, and lung cancer

Make everyday activities more active. Even small changes can help. Walk down the hall to a coworker's office instead of sending an email. Wash the car yourself. Park further away from your destination. Be active with friends and family. Having a workout partner may make you more likely to enjoy exercise. You can also plan social activities that involve exercise. You might also consider joining an exercise group or class, such as a dance class, hiking club, or volleyball team. Keep track of your progress. Keeping a log of your activity or using a fitness tracker may help you set goals and stay motivated. Make exercise more fun. Try listening to music or watching TV while you exercise. Also, mix things up a little bit - if you stick with just one type of exercise, you might get bored. Try doing a combination of activities. Find activities that you can do even when the weather is bad. You can walk in a mall, climb stairs, or work out in a gym even if the weather stops you from exercising outside.

Exercise offers incredible benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health from the inside out. Regular physical activity can increase the production of hormones that make you feel happier and help you sleep better. It can also improve your skin's appearance, help you lose weight and keep it off, lessen the risk of chronic disease and improve your sex life. Whether you practice a specific sport or follow the guideline of 150 minutes of activity per week, you will inevitably improve your health in many ways.


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