Regular exercise can reduce the risk and symptoms of more than 20 physical and mental health conditions, and can also slow down how quickly your body ages.
A review of research, which summarized the findings of 40 papers published between 2006 and 2010, found that exercise affects conditions including cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and high blood pressure.
Science Daily reports:
"... [A]part from not smoking, being physically active is the most powerful lifestyle choice any individual can make to improve their health."
A separate study also found that women who exercise for 150 minutes a week or more could be reducing their risk of endometrial cancer, whether or not they are overweight.
Researchers examined data collected from a case-control study that included almost 700 women with endometrial cancer and compared them to a similar number of age-matched control women. Those who exercised for 150 minutes a week or more had a 34 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer.
"This association was more pronounced among active women with a body mass index (BMI) less than 25, or underweight women, where the reduction in risk was 73 percent compared with inactive women with a BMI more than 25, or what is commonly considered overweight.
Although BMI showed a strong association with endometrial cancer, even women who were overweight, but still active, had a 52 percent lower risk."