Regular Aerobic Exercise Allows for Longer, Happier Lives

These publications reinforce the benefits of aerobic exercise and provide even more motivation to get out and break a sweat.

Benefits of exercise on cognitive function.

A study published in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry determined that adults who exercise even as little as one time per month have improved cognitive function (thinking and memory) later in life. The study followed a cohort of 1417 participants over a period of 33 years and were asked to periodically categorize their physical activity level. At age 69, participants were assessed and those who were the most active showed the highest cognition later in life. However, the study clearly showed that any level of activity had cognitive benefits, even when physical activity was minimal or began later in life.

Benefits of exercise on mental health disorders.

A review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine examined the existing evidence on the effect of physical activity on depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adults. Over one thousand trials were looked at and the results showed that physical activity is “highly beneficial for improving symptoms of depression, anxiety and distress across a wide range of adult populations–including the general population, people with diagnosed mental health disorders and people with chronic disease.”

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A 2018 review and meta-analysis, published in the journal Depression & Anxiety, looked at the association between aerobic exercise and major depressive disorder (MDD). The results of 11 qualifying studies were examined and it was determined that aerobic exercise had a significant anti-depressant effect and can be considered an effective intervention for MDD and other mental health disorders.

Benefits of exercise on chronic illness.

Another study, published in JAMA Network Open, found that sedentary lifestyles are as harmful to one’s health as having a chronic illness. Over the span of 23 years 122,000 adult patients underwent periodic stress testing to determine the link between mortality and aerobic exercise. The study found that better cardiorespiratory fitness was directly associated with longer life spans and better overall health, with the inverse also being true.

Look, we all know about the benefits of exercising, but we don’t always stick with it. These studies highlight the importance of daily movement for living longer and happier lives. Start off slow and find something you like and most importantly stick with it, consistency is the key to reaping the long-term benefits and safeguarding your health.

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