Empirical research suggests

Exercise can help control your weight

Exercise reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease

Exercise reduces your risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise reduces Blood Pressure and Bad Cholesterol

Exercise reduces your risk of some cancers (A compilation of 60 studies from Harvard finds that women who exercise regularly can expect a 20% to 30% reduction in the chance of getting breast cancer compared to those women who did not exercise)

Exercise may ease depression (releases the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine), as well as help ward off panic attacks. Active people are less depressed than inactive people.  Exercise seems not only important for treating depression, but also for preventing relapse

Exercise may work on a cellular level to reverse the toll of stress on our aging process (University of California- San Francisco study found that women who exercised for 45 minutes over a 3 day period had cells that showed fewer signs of aging compared to women who were inactive)

Exercise improves learning.  Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals called Growth Factors, which help make new brain cells and establish new connections between brain cells to help us learn.  German researchers found that high school students scored better on high-attention tasks after doing 10 minutes of a complicated fitness routine compared to 10 minutes of regular activity

Exercising can boost brain function, and may help to minimize cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative diseases like dementia

The Alzheimer’s Research Center touts exercise as one of the best weapons against the disease.  A recent study published in the Archives of Neurology suggests that a daily walk or jog could lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, or blunt its impact once it has begun

Exercise can help in addiction recovery

Exercise can help promote better sleep

Exercise can boost the body’s immune system, increasing the circulation of natural killer cells that fight off viruses and bacteria

Exercise has psychological and emotional benefits:

It can boost one’s confidence, body image and self-esteem

Exercise allows for more social interaction

Exercise take one’s mind off worries

Exercise reduces stress

Exercise allows us to cope in a healthy way