1   shutterstock_95045926Question: What has a major impact on weight reduction, better cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, improved blood sugar control, stronger bones, a healthier heart, and more?

Answer: Exercise, pure and simple.

If that weren’t enough for you to slide on your sneakers, here are some more reasons to get moving, get healthy and lose weight. Every month new studies appear listing more benefits. Here is a sample of some discoveries during 2012.

  • Arthritis: Aerobic and aquatic exercises reduce the disability of osteoarthritis in the knees and other forms of arthritis. The study form Annals of Internal Medicine also showed that strength training reduces pain and improves function. Adherence to an exercise program was the key to its success.
  • Brain Health: According to a study published in Neurology, older people who are more physically active experience less brain shrinkage (linked to cognitive decline and dementia) then their sedentary counterparts. MRI’s revealed that participating in mental or social activities did not affect brain size.
  • Breast Cancer: A large study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported that women who exercise regularly (both in the past and present), had a reduced risk of developing the disease. Maintaining a healthy weight is also essential, the study found. Weight gain, especially after menopause, nearly wiped out the exercise benefits, so it is important to work out and eat right on a regular basis.
  • Dementia: A multi-nation European study reported in the journal Stroke, found that exercise was associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of cognitive impairment and a 60% decrease in vascular-related dementia (such as those resulting from a stroke).
  • Fatigue from Cancer: A study involving people with breast or prostate cancer confirmed that exercise like brisk walking or cycling can help reduce fatigue related to cancer and its treatments. This was a review of 56 different studies by the Cochrane Collaboration.
  • Longevity: Analysis from the National Cancer Institute in PLOS Medicine used data from 650,000 people in six long-term studies and found that physical activity can add years to people’s lives. Those who exercised moderately (like walking briskly 150 minutes per week) lived about 4 years longer than their sedentary counterparts. Even those who did modest amounts 975 minutes of walking per week) lived about 2 years longer and the benefits were seen in everyone from obese to thin.
  • Sense of Well-Being: Two studies from Penn State, published in Health Psychology reported that participants who increased their usual daily exercise by even modest amounts, reported a greater sense of satisfaction with life and positive attitude.

So log off your computer and get moving! Not sure where to start? Search the Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts web site for fitness ideas, or come to one of our resorts to become inspired and to get a jump start on losing weight and getting healthy!