Why is exercise important, according to science?

Why is exercise important? At first glance, this may seem like a fairly simple question: Education systems around the world tell us that exercise is a great way to stay fit and healthy. But what are the current physiological benefits of increasing heart rate and why are they so important to human functioning?

First of all, it is important to understand what exercise is. For many, the phrase will trigger mental images of a session on one of the best treadmills. (opens in a new tab)a HIIT bike workout (opens in a new tab), or a trip to the gym, and this is not too bad. A 1985 public health report (opens in a new tab) seeking to refine the established term into a definition of “planned, structured, and repetitive bodily movement performed to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness.”

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