Get Off the Couch and Start Moving: The Importance of Aerobic Exercise for Adults

Get Off the Couch and Start Moving: The Importance of Aerobic Exercise in Adults

The couch. It catches your attention as soon as you walk through the door after a hard day’s work. You want nothing more than to spend the rest of your waking hours lying on it, watching mindless TV, and munching on your favorite snacks while washing them down with beer. It feels relaxing if not rewarding.

But what you don’t realize is that after a few years of being a couch potato, your waistline is expanding, and your arteries are filling with bad cholesterol. You might even be developing heart disease and diabetes. Suddenly you are faced with the prospect of cutting your life short.

The answer is to get off the couch and start moving.

According to a report by the Mayo Clinic, engaging in regular aerobic activity like swimming, bicycling, walking, or jogging, will not only make you healthier, but it will help you live a longer life.

Aerobic exercise directly affects the blood flow in your lungs and your heart. You need to get moving, either of your own accord or at the direction of a certified personal trainer to start reaping and feeling the many life-changing rewards.

Here's What Aerobic Exercise Will Do for Your Health

If you think you’re too out of shape to start moving, think again. Says the Mayo Clinic, no matter what your age, your athletic ability, or your weight, some form of aerobic activity is good for you. Full stop! The benefits of exercise are many, and as your body adjusts to daily routines, you will find yourself getting more fit and stronger.

Here are some sure-fire ways that aerobic activity can make adults of any age healthier.

Keep Off the Extra Pounds

When combined with a healthy diet of whole foods, aerobic exercise will help you lose weight and keep it off.

Increase Your Strength and Stamina

You might tire quickly when you first begin to exercise after being sedentary for so long. But given time, commitment, and the proper motivation (this is where a personal trainer can come in handy) you will develop stamina.

In fact, you might even find yourself running a half or even an entire marathon in your late fifties or early sixties. You will also increase your lung, heart, and muscle strength over time.

Ward off Illness

The strength of your immune system is directly affected by daily aerobic exercise. It will leave you far less susceptible to viral sicknesses like the flu and colds.

Reduction of Health Risks

Aerobic exercise will reduce your chance of getting heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. Combined with weight-bearing exercise and strength training, you will strengthen your bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Heart and Artery Health

The heart is the most important muscle you have. Therefore, a strong heart doesn’t need to beat as fast. It also pumps blood more efficiently, improving blood flow throughout the body.

Exercise boosts your High-density lipoprotein or HDL, while lowering your low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. This means less buildup of plaque in your arteries and less chance of a cardiac event or stroke.

Boosting Your Mood

Aerobic exercise is directly related to easing depression and reducing the tension that comes with everyday anxiety. It also helps you learn to relax. Exercise will assist with improving your self-esteem and your mental well-being. Finally, it will help you get a better night’s sleep.

In the end, aerobic exercise at any age is key to living a long, prosperous life. But it’s especially important as you age since a healthy, strong body equates with independence. When you come home from work, forget the couch and get moving.

-- Mary Clark is a recently retired and decorated Colonel in the New York State Troopers. One of the highest-ranking female law enforcement officials in New York State, she served for more than three decades. Today she devotes herself to helping others achieve their life goals through a combination of physical fitness, achieving an optimal mindset, and life balance.

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