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10 Quick Reasons to Start Exercising Today
You know you should exercise every day - but have you ever really stopped to think about why? Here are just a few reasons to consider digging those gym shoes out of the closet ... today.

Regular exercise can:

  1. Strengthen your cardiovascular system by increasing the concentration of "good" cholesterol and reducing the amount of "bad" cholesterol in your blood.1
  2. Help reduce your risk of high blood pressure - and if you already have high blood pressure, exercise can help lower it.1
  3. Improve your respiratory system by helping to increase your lung capacity, allowing you to take in greater amounts of oxygen to nourish your cells.1
  4. Help preserve bone mass and increase bone density, giving you stronger bones and improving your balance and coordination.2
  5. Burn calories to help you manage your weight. Studies have shown that even if you don't alter your eating habits, walking for an hour a day can help you lose as much as 10 pounds in six months.3
  6. Help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes by making the insulin your body produces work better to lower your blood sugar naturally.4
  7. Activate the brain neurotransmitters associated with avoiding depression. The levels of those neurotransmitters and their balance with each other play a role in how you react to daily events. Exercise helps keep those chemicals in sync.1
  8. Lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Researchers believe regular exercise may help reduce your chances of developing cancers of the colon, prostate, endometrium and breast.1
  9. Positively impact the quality of your sleep. Daily moderate exercise can help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.5
  10. Help you live longer. Studies have shown that people who burn more than 2,000 calories a week by exercising live an average of one to two years longer than people who burn fewer than 500 calories a week.1

1 Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity. MayoClinic.com. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. July 26, 2005.

2 Exercise and osteoporosis: Staying active safely. MayoClinic.com. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Sept. 24, 2004.

3 Walking: Am I Walking Enough to Lose Weight? Walking.about.com. About, Inc., 2006.

4 Diabetes and exercise. www.diabetes.org. American Diabetes Association, 2006.

5 Sports Medicine: Exercising before bed. Sportsmedicine.about.com. About, Inc., 2006.

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