Keeping fit can "reduce your risk of developing long-term disease, increase your life expectancy, and improve your quality of life in later years". It reduces the risk of coronary heart disease in particular and "can also help to lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol level, control your weight and reduce your risk of diabetes. Physical activity is also a good way of relieving stress". Keeping fit makes pregnancy easier, and complications less likely. Exercise also aids mental health. Research is showing that physical exercise allows the brain to retain its effectiveness longer into old age and even when starting after a life of sloth, exercise can help rescue the brain from mental decline, stimulating the growth of new neurones. A healthy lifestyle, including physical fitness and eating sensibly, "can significantly reduce a person's risk of developing dementia".
Lack of physical fitness is not just to the individual's detriment, but has a negative impact on national economic efficiency and causes increases in national health costs. A lot of very expensive long-term therapies can be avoided simply by keeping fit in life. Exercise can be done for free in the home, with no equipment at all. Also with access to the Internet, it is easy to find many session videos to provide instruction. Finally, the Family Doctor Home Advisor gives some guidance: "Start by setting realistic goals. If you are not fit, begin exercising slowly and build up gradually"