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Importance of Exercise

Exercise to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

You know exercise is good for you but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life. Want to feel better, have more energy and even add years to your life? Just exercise.

The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, no matter their age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing to get moving? Check out these suggested ways that exercise can lead to a happier, healthier you:

  • Exercise Controls Weight - Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help you keep off lost weight.
  • Exercise Combats Health Conditions and Diseases - Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including:
    • Stroke
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • High blood pressure
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Many types of cancer
  • Exercise Improves Mood - Physical activity stimulates many brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.
  • Exercise Boosts Energy - Exercise sends oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.
  • Exercise Promotes Better Sleep - Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep.
  • Exercise Puts the Spark Back into Your Sex Life - Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and give you more confidence about your physical appearance, which may boost your sex life.
  • Exercise Can Be Fun and Social - Exercise and physical activity can be fun. Physical activity also can help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.

Exercise and physical activity are great ways to feel better, boost your health and have fun. For most healthy adults, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:

  • Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. Or get at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. 
  • Strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week.

Remember to check with a health care professional before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any concerns about your fitness or haven't exercised for a long time. Also check with a health care professional if you have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis.

To access the full article on the benefits of exercise, click here.

In partnership with the YMCA, Hally Health focuses on a variety of topics aimed at people of any age or fitness level who want to stay healthy and active. Try this Mini Tabata workout that’s sure to get your heart pumping. To view all our YMCA partnership fitness videos throughout the month, please visit or

Useful links:

  1. Four Pillars of Health: Keep Your Mind & Body Healthy | Aetna
  2. Improve Your Health with Community - Connect Community - BCBSIL
  3. Fitness | Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (