While maintaining a healthy weight is one of the biggest draws to exercise, it shouldn’t be the only one. Here are just 8 of the benefits of a regular sweat session that have nothing to do with your waistline and everything to do with your health.
1. You’ll keep your body decades younger
If 40 is the new 20, then 75 may be the new 40. In a study from the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers compared a group of lifelong exercisers in their 70s to two groups: non-exercisers in their 70s and a group of young exercisers, roughly in their 20s. The lifelong exercisers had cardiovascular health similar to that of 40- or 45-year-olds as well as a lower risk of early death and higher quality of life. The older exercisers also had muscles with aerobic qualities comparable to the young exercisers, so in other words, full preservation. Bottom line? “Exercise wins,” says Scott Trappe, PhD, study co-author from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. “If you’re exercising, keep it going, and if you haven’t started yet, it’s never too late.”