Eat healthy and exercise! If you’ve heard this once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. It’s easily one of the most often repeated phrases these days. But how much good does exercise actually do? Besides helping you achieve your weight loss goals, what other benefits can you derive from it?

Those are excellent questions, and as it turns out, there have been a variety of studies conducted on the subject.  Here’s a quick summary of what science has to say about the matter:

The human body is a wondrous machine, and the only machine we know of that gets stronger the harder and the more often you give it a good workout.  In addition to building muscle and improving your balance, it also makes you significantly less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes and even cancer!

The Department of Health and Human Services (Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans  recommends that adults between the ages of 18 to 64 get at least two and a half hours of moderately intense exercise a week. If you follow their guidelines, you’ll live longer.  How much longer?  Well, studies have shown that their recommended amount of exercise conducted on a regular basis will add anywhere from three to seven years to your lifespan.

If all that wasn’t enough reason to consider adding regular exercise to your weekly schedule, consider that there have been a number of studies that indicate better physical fitness enhances cognition as well. In a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was revealed that people over the age of fifty who built regular exercise into their weekly routines scored consistently higher on cognitive tests after six months than those who led a more sedentary lifestyle.

All that and weight loss too?  What’s not to like?