50 Reasons to exercise

When your physiotherapist suggests that some exercise would be good for you, have you ever stopped to consider why?

Consider no longer; listed below are the many benefits gained by some regular exercise.  If you are unsure as to how to start, or what to do, your physiotherapist can help advise you.

 50 Reasons to exercise                     

  1. Reduces your risk of getting heart disease
  2. Reduces the risk of developing hypertension and helps control the blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure
  3. Helps in weight reduction
  4. Increases circulating levels of ‘good’ cholesterol
  5. Improves the likelihood of survival of a myocardial infarction  (heart attack)
  6. Improves the circulation to your heart
  7. Reduces the circulating levels of triglycerides in your blood
  8. Helps to alleviate low back pain
  9. Helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis

10. Helps reduce the long term  risk of obesity

11. Reduces medical and health care expenses

12. Helps maintain weight loss, unlike dieting alone

13. Increases muscle strength

14. Improves your ability to recover from physical activity

15. Lowers you heart rate in response to submaximal activity

16. Increased the density and breaking strength of ligaments and tendons

17. Can help relieve the pain from tension headaches

18. Helps reduce and prevent the immediate symptoms of menopause

19. Assists in efforts to stop smoking

20. Helps to combat substance abuse

21. Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer

22. Helps relieve constipation

23. Reduces the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding

24. Helps preserve lean body tissue (especially important in older people)

25. Improves mental cognition in older people

26. Improves balance and coordination

27. Helps retard bone loss as you age

28. Helps older people maintain an independent lifestyle

29. Slows the rate of joint degeneration in people with osteoarthritis

30. Maintains or improves joint flexibility

31. Improves pain tolerance and mood in those who suffer osteoarthritis

32. Helps to resist upper respiratory tract infections

33. Improves respiratory muscle strength and endurance which is especially important in asthmatics

34. Helps to boost creativity

35. Improves your decision making abilities

36. In kids, increases the density and breaking strength of bones

37. Helps relieve many of the common discomforts of pregnancy

38. Reduces the risk of endometriosis

39. Reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer

40. Reduces the risk of developing breast cancer

41. Helps speed up recovery from chemotherapy

42. Helps to increase the tissue responses to insulin, for better control of blood sugar in diabetes

43. Enhances sexual functions

44. Helps you to more effectively manage stress

45. Reduces anxiety levels

46. Helps alleviate depression

47. Improves you mood

48. Improves the function of your immune system

49. Gives you more energy to meet the demands of daily life

50. Improves your overall quality of life

So get up and get active! It doesn’t have to be hard, walking is great. Try get to the stage where you are a bit puffed but can still hold a conversation, and if you can do more than that, that’s fantastic. It’s a great time to get outdoors and make the most of the longer days heading into summer.


Philippa King is a physiotherapist at the Oamaru Physiotherapy clinic.  She has a postgraduate diploma in Sports & Exercise Medicine.  Philippa was the physiotherapist for the champion 2010 Heartland Rugby Team.

Source:  Oamaru Physiotherapy Clinic written by Mike Stewart and Michelle Sintmaartensdyk


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