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Benefits of Exercise

Physical activity can halve your risk of developing many major illnesses, and substantially reduce the risk of premature death.

Evidence shows that regular exercise can:

  • halve your risk of getting type II diabetes
  • help to control diabetes and prevent long-term complications if you already have the condition
  • halve your risk of developing coronary heart disease
  • increase levels of HDL ('good' cholesterol)
  • reduce high blood pressure
  • promote bone density to protect against osteoporosis
  • have beneficial effects if you have arthritis and lower back pain
  • reduce your overall risk of cancer, prevent bowel cancer and reduce the risk of breast cancer in women after the menopause
  • help to maintain a healthy weight in combination with a balanced diet
  • reduce the risk of death or poor health if you're already overweight or obese
  • reduce your risk of depression and dementia in later life
  • treat depression
  • help you to feel better about yourself and reduce stress
  • improve your sleep
  • help to promote healthy growth and development in children, as well as maintaining their energy balance, psychological wellbeing and social interaction