10 Benefits Of Exercise (Besides Weight Loss)

African American Black woman stretching exercise outdoors leggings

(BlackDoctor.org) – When most of us launch into a new fitness routine, it is for one common reason: to shed fat. But it turns out focusing on your weight loss goal alone can slash your odds of success by over half, say researchers. A better inspiration: The amazing health rewards you get by being active.

Finding the right motivation can make you 70% more likely to keep it up for the long haul, reports the American College of Sports Medicine.

Next time you’re too busy, tired, or achy to lace up your sneakers, remember these health-transforming benefits of exercise.

1. It reduces your risk of the common cold. A consistent, medium-intensity routine is a proven cold-stopper. Taking a brisk, 40-minute walk 4 days a week, for example, can cut the number of colds you experience by 25 to 50 percent and can make the colds you do catch shorter by half, studies show. Moderate exercise boosts the number and activity level of important immune-system players called natural killer cells.

2. It improves depression without drugs. In one study that pitted brisk walking or jogging against the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft) or a combination of the drug plus the exercise, after 4 months, all three groups had about the same improvement in their depression, but at 6 months, the people who kept up the exercise, had the lowest rates of remission.