Aerobic exercise benefits the body in many different ways. These include:
1. Preventing heart disease
Aerobic exercise is essential for keeping the heart, lungs, and blood vessels healthy. Regular aerobic exercise can help prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of death from this condition.
2. Maintaining a healthy weight
People wishing to lose weight will need to ensure that they burn more calories than they consume, resulting in a caloric deficit.
Aerobic exercise causes the body to burn calories for energy. It is a great way to push the body into a caloric deficit, leading to weight loss. However, to reach a caloric deficit, most people will also need to reduce the number of calories that they consume.
3. Controlling blood sugar levels
Keeping blood sugar levels under control is important for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It is essential for people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease.
Insulin is necessary for regulating blood sugar. Aerobic exercise can increase insulin sensitivity so that the body requires less insulin to control blood sugar levels.
During exercise, the muscles also use glucose from the blood. In this way, exercise helps prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high.
4. Lowering blood pressure
Aerobic exercise can help keep blood pressure within a healthy range. A review of 391 trials in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that exercise is as effective as blood pressure medications in reducing high blood pressure.
5. Preventing and managing stroke
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to an area of the brain becomes obstructed. It can have serious and life threatening consequences. Regular aerobic exercise reduces the risk of a stroke by keeping the blood vessels and heart healthy.
It is also important for people who have had a stroke to stay as active as possible to support recovery and reduce the risk of another stroke. A doctor will advise a person on the best way to build up activity and start exercising again after a stroke.
6. Increasing lifespan
Aerobic exercise has such a broad range of health benefits that it helps people live longer. Higher levels of aerobic activity reduce the risk of death, regardless of the intensity of the activity.
7. Improving physical functioning
The ability to perform tasks for daily living is important in maintaining independence and well-being. Aerobic exercise improves the physical capabilities that are necessary for a person to function on a daily basis. Physical fitness also helps prevent falls and the resulting injuries.
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