Exercise: Benefits of Exercise

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can exercise do for me?

Making exercise a regular part of your daily routine will have a positive impact on your health and your quality of life as you get older. Staying physically active and exercising regularly can

  • help improve mood and reduce feelings of depression
  • help manage or improve diabetes
  • help manage or improve heart disease
  • help manage or improve some types of cancer.

Exercise also helps people with high blood pressure, balance problems, or difficulty walking.

Being physically active can also help you stay strong and fit enough to keep doing the things you like to do and stay independent as you get older. For example, improving endurance can make it easier to work in the garden. Increasing muscle strength can make it easier to lift a grandchild or climb stairs. Improving balance helps prevent falls, and being more flexible can help you reach for items on kitchen shelves.

(Watch the videos on this page to learn more about the everyday benefits of exercise for older adults. To enlarge a video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner of the video screen. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)

For more on the everyday benefits of exercise, see "Real-Life Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity" from Go4LifeĀ®, the exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging.