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If we could bottle the benefits of physical exercise, we would have one of the most powerful anti-aging remedies known. Physical activity rejuvenates virtually every organ in your body, adding energy to your days and years to your life.

If we could bottle the benefits of physical exercise, we would have one of the most powerful anti-aging remedies known. Physical activity rejuvenates virtually every organ in your body, adding energy to your days and years to your life.

Despite this, fewer than two out of 10 adults exercise regularly, and three out of 10 get absolutely no physical activity. According to the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, 57 percent of Canadian adults aren't active enough. Why? Because exercise takes work.

The good news is that exercise needn't be painful to produce measurable improvements in your health and well-being. So, before you revert to your favourite excuse, let's discard the most common reasons for avoiding exercise.

"I'm too busy"

Getting regular exercise takes less time than you think. Research shows that short bouts of activity provide the same cardiovascular benefits as long bouts and may be less stressful on the body. Accumulating just 30 minutes of exercise over a day is all you need to reap significant health benefits. Replace half an hour of TV with moderate physical activity and you're there.

"I'm too tired"

Strange as it may sound, physical activity actually increases your energy. With regular, sustained exercise, your heart pumps more blood, your lungs take in more oxygen and your arteries deliver more blood to your tissues. The end result is a body that does more work with less effort and that means more endurance and energy for you.

"I'm too old"

One of the simplest antidotes to aging is physical activity. According to an eight-year study at Tufts University, inactive men and women in their 40s were as likely to report limitations in daily activities as active men and women in their 60s. In other words, the fit 60-year-olds were functionally as young as unfit people 20 years their junior.

Find Creative Ways to Get Moving

Make a conscious effort to fit in 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Join a gym or take up an active hobby such as biking or tennis. Recent research suggests that fitting in 30 minutes of physical activity daily may be as effective as doing aerobic exercise in supervised classes. In a 1999 Journal of the American Medical Association study, men and women aged 35 to 60 were randomly assigned to either a "lifestyle" activity group or a structured exercise class. After two years, participants in both groups had similar improvements in cardiopulmonary heart fitness, blood pressure and percentage of body fat.

Accumulating 30 minutes of activity during the day shouldn't be difficult. Don't use the elevator; take the stairs. Take a walk during your lunch break. Rake leaves, mow grass or vacuum vigorously. It doesn't matter what you do, just as long as you do it.

Benefits of Exercise

  1. strengthens heart
  2. lowers blood pressure
  3. enhances circulation
  4. helps reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  5. raises healthy HDL cholesterol
  6. reduces risk of some cancers
  7. improves carbohydrate metabolism
  8. helps prevent type II diabetes
  9. builds bone
  10. strengthens muscle
  11. reduces fat
  12. sharpens the mind
  13. reduces risk of Alzheimer disease
  14. elevates mood
  15. promotes good sleep
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