The Benefits of Exercise

The Benefits of Exercise


Is walking or exercising really good for you? If you have all day, we could probably outline all the benefits! But you probably don’t, so we’ll just give you a few to ponder on…

If you want to feel better, boost your mood, have more energy, strengthen your tissues and perhaps even live longer, then the health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are difficult to ignore, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability.

It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%. It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some.

The renowned Mayo Clinic has researched this in some detail and has some guidelines for people to consider.


…controls weight

Exercise prevents excess weight gain and helps maintain weight loss. Engaging in physical activity burns calories. If you can’t do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — e.g. take the stairs instead of a lift or escalator.

…combats health conditions and diseases

No matter what your current weight, being active boosts HDL, or “good,” cholesterol and can help prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.

…improves mood

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

…boosts energy

Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helping your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.

…promotes better sleep

Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energised to fall asleep!

…can be fun

Exercise and physical activity gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy and can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it!

The bottom line on exercise

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more.

Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise programme, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis, or you have any concerns.

Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.


Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.


Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.


At Southside Physiotherapy, we understand the benefits of exercise and physical activity for our clients so we can help you take up exercising and get back into it if you’ve lapsed in recent years! Call for an appointment with one of our qualified physiotherapists to put you on the right track.



Martina Cloonan