Women know they need exercise, but who has the time? Balancing a career, a family and everything in between often causes women’s personal needs to take a back seat to other concerns. There are numerous reasons why women need to include exercise into their daily routines. Of course, there is the obvious benefit of shaping a slimmer body but did you know that exercise for women has also been proven to alleviate depression, help prevent colon cancer and boost your immune system? In addition, regular exercise for women helps prevent osteoporosis by strengthening their bones. Many women find that exercise relieves the symptoms of premenstrual tension (PMT), painful periods as well as pre- and post-menopausal symptoms. Women who are physically fit before and during pregnancy often have less severe back and labor pain and experience easier deliveries than women who are unfit. Further, fit mothers-to-be are less apt to become overweight and regain their pre-pregnancy figures much more quickly after giving birth. In addition to improving their appearance and overall health, many women say that exercise helps to boost their self-confidence in all aspects of their lives. Mary McElroy, professor of kinesiology at Kansas State University says, “Exercising gives women a sense of accomplishment, which is related to self-esteem. It can have a powerful effect on self-image. I would take the benefits of exercise beyond health. Exercise is an important component of one’s quality of life.” In recent years, there has been a boom in the variety of workouts for women as well as an increased availability of exercise and physical recreational options, including online fitness programs–primarily because more and more women are taking a serious interest in keeping themselves fit and strong. Studies have shown that a combination of cardio and strength and flexibility training including walking, running, climbing stairs, kickboxing, yoga, cycling at a moderate pace and other recreational pursuits help women to stay healthier, happier and more productive as compared to their sedentary counterparts. Note: Always consult with a professional health care advisor before beginning any physical fitness program.