The Advantages & Disadvantages of Physical Exercise
The key to physical exercise is understanding your physical condition and finding exercises that are appropriate for your current state of health. If new to exercising, start out at a slow pace for only five minutes daily to get your body accustomed to moving. Not all exercises will be appropriate for your individual situation, so consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Mastering Proper Form
Form involves performing an exercise a certain way in order to gain maximum results while minimizing risks of injury. Proper form is a definite advantage of physical exercise and plays an integral role in all exercise regimes, even when returning weights to the weight rack. If maintaining proper form provides too much of a hindrance, reduce the amount of weight you lift or lower your repetitions. Improper form is a disadvantage of physical exercise and is one of the most common reasons for injuries and poor progress.
- Form involves performing an exercise a certain way in order to gain maximum results while minimizing risks of injury.
- Proper form is a definite advantage of physical exercise and plays an integral role in all exercise regimes, even when returning weights to the weight rack.
Will You Lose Weight Walking for an Hour a Day?
If you have a busy schedule and are constantly cramped for time, you might consider the time it takes to get an effective workout a disadvantage of exercise. In order to achieve the highest level of health benefits, you must treat exercise as a scheduled daily event. The Center for Disease Control recommends doing 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week and including strength-training exercises for the major muscle groups in your shoulders, arms, abdomen, back, hips, chest and legs at least twice weekly. Splitting your cardio into three sessions over the day might be more convenient during busy times.
- If you have a busy schedule and are constantly cramped for time, you might consider the time it takes to get an effective workout a disadvantage of exercise.
Correct Intensity Level
The intensity level you work out at can be either an advantage or disadvantage of physical exercise. When done correctly, your intensity level will keep your heart rate within your target rate for a prolonged period of time and allow you to get the most out of your workout, increasing overall efficiency. Staying within a vigorous or moderately-brisk intensity level provides the best health benefits. Exercising at too high an intensity level will be a disadvantage of physical exercise since overexertion may lead to nausea, dizziness, burnout, pain or injury.
- The intensity level you work out at can be either an advantage or disadvantage of physical exercise.
- Exercising at too high an intensity level will be a disadvantage of physical exercise since overexertion may lead to nausea, dizziness, burnout, pain or injury.
Lower Health Risks
Lacrosse Health Benefits
One advantage of physical exercise is that moving your body more reduces your risks of developing a number of health ailments. According to the CDC, becoming physically active improves mental health functioning and lowers depression levels by releasing endorphins -- a brain chemical that provides a feeling of happiness and content. It also helps control your weight, lower your blood pressure, increase good cholesterol, strengthen your bones and reduce your chances of developing diabetes and some forms of cancer.
Will You Lose Weight Walking for an Hour a Day?
Lacrosse Health Benefits
How Much Weight Can You Lose in 2 Months?
Can Exercise Cause Depression?
How to Get Skinny From Walking
Is Walking 15 Minutes a Day Enough for Weight Loss?
What Are the Advantages of Having a Corporate Office Gym?
How Does Exercise Clear Plaque Out of Arteries?
3 Ways to Strengthen Your Cardiovascular System
Long-Term Effects of Exercise on the Respiratory System
- The Complete Guide to Strength Training; Anita Bean
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need? Center for Disease Control; 2011
- University of New Mexico: Vigorous Versus Moderate-Intensity Exercise
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity and Health: The Benefits of Physical Activity
- Jiannine LM. An investigation of the relationship between physical fitness, self-concept, and sexual functioning. J Educ Health Promot. 2018;7:57. doi:10.4103/jehp.jehp_157_17
- Swift DL, Johannsen NM, Lavie CJ, Earnest CP, Church TS. The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2014;56(4):441-447. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2013.09.012
- Abdelaal M, le Roux CW, Docherty NG. Morbidity and mortality associated with obesity. Ann Transl Med. 2017;5(7):161. doi:10.21037/atm.2017.03.107
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease Facts. Updated September 8, 2020.
- American Heart Association. Warm Weather Fitness Guide: Your Path to Heart Health. 2012.
- American Heart Association. Lifestyle Changes for Heart Attack Prevention. Updated July 31, 2015.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Type 2 Diabetes. Updated May 2017.
- Babraj JA, Vollaard NB, Keast C, Guppy FM, Cottrell G, Timmons JA. Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males. BMC Endocr Disord. 2009;9:3. doi:10.1186/1472-6823-9-3
- Strasser B, Pesta D. Resistance Training for Diabetes Prevention and Therapy: Experimental Findings and Molecular Mechanisms. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:805217. doi:10.1155/2013/805217
- Frappier J, Toupin I, Levy JJ, Aubertin-Leheudre M, Karelis AD. Energy Expenditure during Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(10):e79342. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079342
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease and Stroke. Updated October 7, 2020.
- Wen H, Wang L. Reducing effect of aerobic exercise on blood pressure of essential hypertensive patients: A meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017;96(11):e6150. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000006150
- American Heart Association. American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids. Updated April 18, 2018.
- Geda YE, Roberts RO, Knopman DS, et al. Physical Exercise, Aging, and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study. Arch Neurol. 2010;67(1):80-86. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.297
- Northey JM, Cherbuin N, Pumpa KL, et al. Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis. B J Sports Med. 2018;52:154-160. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096587
- Larson EB, Wang L, Bowen JD, et al. Exercise Is Associated with Reduced Risk for Incident Dementia among Persons 65 Years of Age and Older. Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(2):73-81. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-144-2-200601170-00004
- Sjøgaard G, Christensen JR, Justesen JB, et al. Exercise is more than medicine: The working age population’s well-being and productivity. J Sport Health Sci. 2016;5(2):159-165. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2016.04.004
- Puetz TW, Flowers SS, O'Connor PJ. A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effect of Aerobic Exercise Training on Feelings of Energy and Fatigue in Sedentary Young Adults with Persistent Fatigue. Psychother Psychosom. 2008;77(3):167-174. doi:10.1159/000116610
- Durstine JL, Grandjean PW, Davis PG, Ferguson MA, Alderson NL, Dubose KD. Blood Lipid and Lipoprotein Adaptations to Exercise: A Quantitative Analysis. Sports Med. 2001;31(15):1033-1062. doi:10.2165/00007256-200131150-00002
- Mann S, Beedie C, Jimenez A. Differential Effects of Aerobic Exercise, Resistance Training and Combined Exercise Modalities on Cholesterol and the Lipid Profile: Review, Synthesis and Recommendations. Sports Med. 2014;44(2):211-221. doi:10.1007/s40279-013-0110-5
- Weir K. The exercise effect. American Psychological Association. 2011;42(11):48.
- Belvederi Murri M, Ekkekakis P, Magagnoli M, et al. Physical Exercise in Major Depression: Reducing the Mortality Gap While Improving Clinical Outcomes. Front Psychiatry. 2018;9:762. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00762
- Childs E, De Wit H. Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute stress in healthy adults. Front Physiol. 2014;5:161. doi:10.3389/fphys.2014.00161
- Herring MP, O'connor PJ, Dishman RK. The Effect of Exercise Training on Anxiety Symptoms Among Patients: A Systematic Review. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(4):321-331. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.530
- Harvard Health Publishing. Exercise and the Risk of Stroke, Heart Disease—The Family HealthGuide. Exercise and the Risk of Stroke, Heart Disease. 2005.
- Saunders DH, Sanderson M, Hayes S, et al. Physical fitness training for stroke patients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;3:CD003316. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003316.pub6
- American Cancer Society. Exercise Linked With Lower Risk of 13 Types of Cancer. 2016.
- Lee IM. Physical Activity and Cancer Prevention--Data from Epidemiologic Studies. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35(11):1823-1827. doi:10.1249/01.MSS.0000093620.27893.23
- Khan N, Afaq F, Mukhtar H. Lifestyle as risk factor for cancer: Evidence from human studies. Cancer Lett. 2010;293(2):133-143. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2009.12.013
- Rodríguez-Gómez I, Mañas A, Losa-Reyna J, et al. Associations between sedentary time, physical activity and bone health among older people using compositional data analysis. PLoS One. 2018;13(10):e0206013. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0206013
- Troy KL, Mancuso ME, Butler TA, Johnson JE. Exercise Early and Often: Effects of Physical Activity and Exercise on Women's Bone Health. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(5):878. doi:10.3390/ijerph15050878
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporosis Exercise for Strong Bones.
- Elavsky S. Longitudinal Examination of the Exercise and Self-Esteem Model in Middle-Aged Women. J Sport Exerc Psychol. 2010;32(6):862-880.
- Campbell A, Hausenblas HA. Effects of Exercise Interventions on Body Image: A Meta-Analysis. J Health Psychol. 2009;14(6):780-793. doi:10.1177/1359105309338977
- Basso JC, Suzuki WA. The Effects of Acute Exercise on Mood, Cognition, Neurophysiology, and Neurochemical Pathways: A Review. Brain Plast. 2017;2(2):127-152. doi:10.3233/BPL-160040
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hip Fractures Among Older Adults. Updated September 20, 2016.
- Sherrington C, Tiedemann A, Fairhall N, Close JCT, Lord SR. Exercise to prevent falls in older adults: an updated meta-analysis and best practice recommendations. N S W Public Health Bull. 2011;22(3-4):78-83. doi:10.1071/NB10056
- Harvard Health Publishing. It's never too late to start exercising! 2016.
- Williams KA, Petronis J, Smith D, et al. Effect of Iyengar yoga therapy for chronic low back pain. Pain. 2005;115(1-2):107-117. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2005.02.016
- Janssen I, Leblanc AG. Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010;7:40. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-7-40
Crystal Welch has a 30-year writing history. Her more than 2,000 published works have been included in the health and fitness-related Wellness Directory, Earthdance Press and Higher Source. She is an award-winning writer who teaches whole foods cooking and has written a cookbook series. She operates an HON-code-certified health-related blog with more than 95,000 readers. Welch has a B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.