Regular and adapted physical exercise is beneficial for health. It decreases the effects of aging and the risk of certain diseases. People who exercise regularly, even moderately, have a higher life expectancy compared to sedentary people in the same age group.
Physical exercise has a number of beneficial effects on the body. One of the main benefits is reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases thanks to the strengthening of muscles of the cardiovascular system, a better oxygenation of tissues, a decrease in arterial pressure, and the reduction of “bad cholesterol” responsible for atherosclerosis. With a balanced diet, physical exercise stimulates the metabolism and eliminates excess calories, which allows for better weight control and reduces the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It also decreases the risk of colorectal cancer and breast cancer, possibly also the risk of prostate cancer and endometrial (uterine) cancer. Physical activity stimulates the immune system and protects against infections, particularly those of the respiratory system (cold, flu, etc.). In older individuals and women who have experienced menopause, physical exercise slows down the loss of muscle mass, maintains joint flexibility, and fights against osteoporosis. It also contributes to reducing falls and the risk of fractures.
By stimulating the liberation of natural morphines (endorphins) by the brain, physical exercise helps to reduce stress, mental fatigue, and anxiety. It provides a sense of pleasure and helps fight against depression. Physical activity also helps reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It improves sleep and increases energy.
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