Regular exercise such as a daily walk is linked to reducing around two dozen physical and mental health conditions and slowing down how quickly the body ages, according to an extensive research review.
Health conditions covered by the review include: cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and high blood pressure.
The team reviewed 40 papers covering the latest international research published between 2006 and 2010 and found that apart from not smoking, being physically active was the most powerful lifestyle choice any individual could make to improve their health.
Health benefits identified by the review include:
Recommendations identified by the review include:
The author of the review said:
"Ideally, to gain maximum health benefits people should exercise, not smoke, eat a healthy diet and have a body mass index of less than 25,
"The more of these healthy traits an individual has, the less likely they are to develop a range of chronic disorders. Even if people can't give up smoking and maintain a healthy weight, they can still gain health benefits from increasing the amount of regular exercise they take.
"Physical inactivity results in widespread pathophysiological changes to our bodies. It appears that our bodies have evolved to function optimally on a certain level of physically activity that many of us simply do not achieve in our modern, sedentary lifestyles.
"What is clear from the research is that men and women of all ages should be encouraged to be more physically active for the sake of their long-term health."
Research Paper Details:
L. Alford. What men should know about the impact of physical activity on their health. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 2010; 64 (13): 1731.
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