Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Adults

Health Benefits of Physical Activity

Immediate Benefits

A single bout of moderate-to vigorous physical activity provides immediate benefits for your health.

  1. Sleep
    – Improves sleep quality
  2. Less Anxiety
    – Reduces feelings of anxiety
  3. Blood Pressure
    – Reduces blood pressure

Long-term Benefits

Regular physical activity provides important health benefits for chronic disease prevention.

  1. Brain Health
    – Reduces risks of developing dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) and reduces risk of depression
  2. Heart Health
    – Lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
  3. Cancer Prevention
    -Lowers risk of eight cancers: bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach
  4. Healthy Weight
    – Reduces risk of weight gain
  5. Bone Strength
    – Improves bone health
  6. Balance and Coordination
    – Reduces risks of falls

Emerging research suggests physical activity may also help boost immune function.1,2

  1. Nieman, D. C., & Wentz, L. M. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. Journal of sport and health science, 8(3), 201-217.
  2. Jones, A. W., & Davison, G. (2019). Exercise, Immunity, and Illness. In Muscle and Exercise Physiology (pp. 317-344). Academic Press.

Source: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition (Chapter 2, page 32) pdf icon[PDF-15.2MB]external icon

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