The Benefits of Bodybuilding / Exercise

We often read articles about the benefits of exercise – and for sure there are many advantages to working out.  However I thought it would be good to have a definitive list somewhere along with references, so people wishing to know this information can easily get it.  Perhaps I may make this a static page on the site and update it as science continues to publish studies of new benefits to exercising.  So for now consider it a work in progress.

Benefits of Exercise / Bodybuilding

1. Reference 1

a. All-cause mortality is delayed (i.e. you increase your life span)

b. Decrease the risk of developing CHD

c. Decrease the risk of having a stroke

d. Decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

e. Decrease the risk of developing some forms of cancer (e.g., colon and breast cancers)

f. Lowers blood pressure

g. Improves lipoprotein profile, C-reactive protein, and other CHD biomarkers

h. Enhances insulin sensitivity, and play an important role in weight management

2. Reference 2

a. Preserves bone mass

b. Reduces the risk of falling

3. Reference 3

a. Prevention of and improvement in mild to moderate depressive disorders and anxiety

4. Reference 4

a. Enhances feelings of “energy”

5. Reference 5

a. Enhances feelings of well-being

6. Reference 6

a. Enhances quality of life

7. Reference 7

a. Enhances cognitive function

8. Reference 8

a. Lowers risk of cognitive decline and dementia



1. Reference 1

a. US Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. 1999 [cited 2010 Oct 10]. 278 p. Available from: Cited Here…

2. Reference 2

a. Thorp AA, Healy GN, Owen N, et al. Deleterious associations of sitting time and television viewing time with cardiometabolic risk biomarkers: Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) study 2004-2005. Diabetes Care. 2010;33(2):327-34

3. Reference 3

a. Bibeau WS, Moore JB, Mitchell NG, Vargas-Tonsing T, Bartholomew JB. Effects of acute resistance training of different intensities and rest periods on anxiety and affect. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(8):2184-91.

b. Haskell WL, Lee IM, Pate RR, et al. Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39(8):1423-34.

c. Martinsen EW. Physical activity in the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression. Nord J Psych. 2008;62(Suppl 47):25-9

d. Mead GE, Morley W, Campbell P, Greig CA, McMurdo M, Lawlor DA. Exercise for depression. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(3):CD004366.

e. Rethorst CD, Wipfli BM, Landers DM. The antidepressive effects of exercise: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. Sports Med. 2009;39(6):491-511

f. Strohle A. Physical activity, exercise, depression and anxiety disorders. J Neural Transm. 2009;116(6):777-84

g. Wipfli B, Landers D, Nagoshi C, Ringenbach S. An examination of serotonin and psychological variables in the relationship between exercise and mental health. Scand J Med Sci Sports [Epub ahead of print]. 2009 [cited 2009 Dec 18]. Available from:

4. Reference 4

a. Puetz TW. Physical activity and feelings of energy and fatigue: epidemiological evidence. Sports Med. 2006;36(9):767-80

5. Reference 5

a. Bartholomew JB, Morrison D, Ciccolo JT. Effects of acute exercise on mood and well-being in patients with major depressive disorder. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005;37(12):2032-7

b. Yau MK. Tai chi exercise and the improvement of health and well-being in older adults. Med Sport Sci. 2008;52:155-65

6. Reference 6

a. Conn VS, Hafdahl AR, Brown LM. Meta-analysis of quality-of-life outcomes from physical activity interventions. Nurs Res. 2009;58(3):175-83

b. Gillison FB, Skevington SM, Sato A, Standage M, Evangelidou S. The effects of exercise interventions on quality of life in clinical and healthy populations; a meta-analysis. Soc Sci Med. 2009;68(9):1700-10

c. Rejeski WJ, Mihalko SL. Physical activity and quality of life in older adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001;56 Spec No 2:23-35

7. Reference 7

a. Kramer AF, Erickson KI. Capitalizing on cortical plasticity: influence of physical activity on cognition and brain function. Trends Cogn Sci. 2007;11(8):342-8

b. Ruscheweyh R, Willemer C, Kruger K, et al. Physical activity and memory functions: an interventional study. Neurobiol Aging [Epub ahead of print]. 2009 [cited 2009 Aug 27]

c. Smith PJ, Blumenthal JA, Hoffman BM, et al. Aerobic exercise and neurocognitive performance: a meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials. Psychosom Med. 2010;72(3):239-52

8. Reference 8

a. Larson EB, Wang L, Bowen JD, et al. Exercise is associated with reduced risk for incident dementia among persons 65 years of age and older. Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(2):73-81

b. Paterson DH, Warburton DE. Physical activity and functional limitations in older adults: a systematic review related to Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010;7:38

c. Weuve J, Kang JH, Manson JE, Breteler MM, Ware JH, Grodstein F. Physical activity, including walking, and cognitive function in older women. JAMA. 2004;292(12):1454-61

d. Yaffe K, Fiocco AJ, Lindquist K, et al. Predictors of maintaining cognitive function in older adults: the Health ABC study. Neurology. 2009;72(23):2029-35


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