Why is exercise important? Image shows group of people exercising together in a class

Why is exercise important, according to the science?

Why is exercise important? On the face of it, this may seem like a fairly simple question – schooling systems across the world tell us exercise is a great way to stay fit and healthy. But what are the actual physiological benefits of raising your heart rate, and why are they so important to the human function?

Firstly, it’s important to understand what exercise is. For many, the phrase will trigger mental images of a session on the one of the best treadmills (opens in new tab), a HIIT bike workout (opens in new tab), or a trip to the gym, and this isn’t far wrong. A 1985 Public Health Report (opens in new tab) seeking to pin down the term settled on a definition of, “planned, structured, and repetitive bodily movement done to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness”. 

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