Wednesday, December 19, 2012

6 Good Reasons to Exercise, Including Living Longer

An I-can-cope mood.
Dieting can make you cranky. But physical movement releases feel-good hormones and gives you more energy. And who doesn't need more of those things?

Better sleep.
Poor sleep plagues many caregivers and can set off a cascade of health woes. A little sweat by day beats a sleeping pill at night.

Being steadier on your feet.

Exercise improves balance and helps reduce falls. You already know that's a big issue for an aging adult. But the need for better balance helps everyone in midlife and beyond, not just the frail.

Brain protection.

Exercise can slow the rate of cognitive decline in people with dementia. It may also help reduce the risk of developing dementia in the first place.

Less pain, more physical gain.
Moderate exercise can help ease challenging symptoms related to congestive heart failire, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or diabetes. In fact, it's hard to think of many physical conditions in which at least some form of exercise doesn't make the patient feel some reprieve from symptoms.

Easier weight loss, especially as you get older.
We lose muscle as we age. But if you preserve or gain muscle mass, it's easier to lose weight after 40. So along with those aerobic activities you need to do to extend your life, add a few hand weights to build muscle mass.

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