For thousands of years, physical activity has been associated with health. Today, science has confirmed the link, with overwhelming evidence that people who lead active lifestyles are less likely to die early, or to experience major illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer.
Exercise benefits every part of the body, including the mind. Exercising causes the body to produce endorphins, chemicals that lead a person to feel peaceful and happy. Exercise can help some people sleep better. It can also help with mental health issues such as mild depression and self-esteem. Plus, exercise can give people a real sense of accomplishment and pride at having achieved a certain goal - like beating an old time in the 100-meter dash.
Exercising can help you look better, too. People who exercise burn calories and look more toned than those who don't. In fact, exercise is one of the most important parts of keeping your body at a healthy weight. When you exercise, you burn food calories as fuel. If a person eats more calories than he or she burns, the body stores them away as fat. Exercise can help burn these stored calories.
Finally, exercising to maintain a healthy weight also decreases a person's risk of developing certain diseases, including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.