In my practice, I see a lot of people suffering with various kinds of pain and other health problems.  I believe that these folks would benefit tremendously from exercise.  I know it’s a hard habit to take up if you aren’t already an athlete, but it’s worth the effort in so many ways.  Here are ten benefits I want my patients to enjoy.

1.  Cardiovascular Health – Whether running, swimming, biking, using gym equipment like ellipticals, or simply brisk walking, aerobic exercise is beneficial for lungs, heart and circulation and can prevent stroke or heart attack.

2.  Joint and Muscle Benefit – Knees, back, ankles, feet and the associated soft tissue including muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves – the health and function of all these can be improved through the proper exercise.  

3.  Bone Strength – Proper usage of bones through exercise increases trabeculation of essential calcium into bones, preventing osteoporosis and osteomalasia.

4.  Stress Relief – Challenging exercise creates endorphins (natural pain killers and relaxants).  Exercise can help you temporarily forget problems.  Fatigue can cause you to relax and even sleep better.

5.  Psychological Factors – performing challenging exercise and accomplishing workout goals can improve your outlook and self image.

6.  Enjoy Eating More – One side effect of challenging exercise and associated caloric burn is being able to ingest more (hopefully healthy) food.

7.  Anti Aging – Slow aging that is exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle.  Research shows exercise helps brain function and actually stimulates brain cell growth.

8.  Weight Loss – Calories burned during exercise should eventually lead to weight loss, which is likely to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, poor cholesterol, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, many cancers and a host of other health problems.

9.  Social Interaction and Competition – Challenging oneself may lead to a desire to compare newfound fitness with others. Exercise is easier when you can share it!  It can be more fun and minimize the work aspect when you work out with friends.

10. Improve your Looks  – You will be impressed with the positive changes in your body and even improved muscle and skin tone.