If you have any doubts about how exercise can benefit you, the latest studies will turn you into a believer.
Researchers who analyzed several long-term studies that involved a total of 1.44 million people found that you don’t have to run marathons to see beneficial health effects. In fact, according to the report in JAMA Internal Medicine, people who exercised “moderately” suffered fewer cases of 13 types of cancer, including breast, lung and colon cancer. Even people who did only a little walking a couple of times a week saw benefits, although the numbers of cancers decreased for people who exercised more.
This chart by the Harvard School of Public Health shows what qualifies as moderate exercise – activities that are within reach of nearly everyone.
Most people who have heart attacks start exercising, and by doing so they reduce their chance of another attack by 31 percent. But they also reduce the occurrence of other life-threatening disease by 27 percent.
Exercise can improve your mental outlook as well. The National Institutes of Health reports that “exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.” Increased blood flow to the brain and a boost in hormones seems to be the reason for the beneficial effects.
Finally, exercise is good for varicose veins, too. Especially if you stand or sit for long periods, breaking up your routine with a walk around the building is important. And even if you wait until the end of the day to put on your sneakers, you will improve your leg health. Nothing will prevent varicose veins if you are genetically predisposed to them, but exercise can slow down symptoms, even after you start experiencing pain or other signs of the disease.
So you really have no excuse: Get moving to feel better in all sorts of ways.
Talk to Dr. Alex Afshar about how exercise can benefit your legs.