According to professionals at the Mayo Clinic, these are the top five ways that we benefit from regular physical activity.

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According to professionals at the Mayo Clinic, these are the top five ways that we benefit from regular physical activity.

Exercise controls weight. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain and help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can’t do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores, for instance.

Exercise combats health conditions and diseases. Regular physical activity can help you 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.

Exercise improves mood. Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. 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.

Exercise boosts energy. Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.

Exercise promotes better sleep. Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? 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 energized to fall asleep.

Whether you’re walking around Green Lake or participating in one of the 18 weekly exercise classes at nearby Village Cove senior housing community, physical activity is a key part of any healthy lifestyle. More information is available at villagecove.org.