10 Good Reasons to Be Active

Whether you’re already active or you’re just getting started in a fitness routine, there are a lot of good reasons to keep moving as we age. Here are just a few:

  1. Obesity: Exercise can help you lose weight and control your weight. More than one-third of adults in the U.S (roughly 78.6 million people) are considered obese. As of 2014, Colorado was the only state with an obesity rate below 24% according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity is a precursor to many health conditions.
  2. Diabetes: In the late 1950s, less than 1 million people had diabetes. By 2012, an estimated 29.1 million people or just under 10% of the U.S. population had diabetes. In 2012, 1 out of 3 adults (or 86 million Americans) had pre-diabetes. Without weight loss and moderate activity up to one-third of the people with pre-diabetes will develop the disease within 5 years.
  3. Heart Disease: A lack of physical activity has been tied to increases in heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. Americans at risk for heart disease include those who are overweight, have diabetes or a poor diet, and people who are physically inactive.
  4. Mental Health: Exercise has also been shown to ease anxiety and improve moods. The increase in depression in the United States has been tied to a decrease in physical fitness.
  5. Fights cancer: A new study shows being active is associated with a 7 percent lower risk of cancer.
  6. Community & Friendship: You don’t have to go it alone. Many people run with friends, hire a trainer, go to a fitness class, join a gym or even a team so that they don’t have to go it alone on the exercise front. A good friend or community can be a great motivator to keep moving.
  7. Bone Density & Osteoporosis: Exercise helps to strengthen bones and muscles, and maintain bone density, which is important for fending off osteoporosis.
  8. Balance: Exercise improves our mobility and balance—the latter is key to preventing falls as we age.
  9. Longevity: Being active can increase our chances of living longer. People who are active roughly 7 hours a week have a 40 percent lower risk of dying early than those who exercise less than 30 minutes a week.
  10. It’s not as hard as you think: Just 150 minutes of exercise a week, or 30 minutes almost every other day can change your health dramatically. And if running or swimming isn’t your thing, that’s okay, gardening and walking your dog count, too. The point is to move your body.