Why is Physical Activity & Fitness Important?
Would you like to:
Decrease your risk of disease?
Feel better physically and mentally?
Help avoid injuries?
Keep doing activities you enjoy throughout your life?
Starting a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. After all, physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight, and even boost your self-esteem. And the benefits are yours for the taking, regardless of age, sex or physical ability.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that healthy adults include aerobic exercise and strength training in their fitness plans, specifically:
At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week
Strength training exercises at least twice a week
Regular exercise can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, and strengthen your bones and muscles. But if you haven’t exercised for some time and you have health concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.
When you’re designing your personal fitness program, consider your fitness goals. Think about your fitness likes and dislikes, and note your personal barriers to fitness. Then consider practical strategies for keeping your fitness program on track.
Starting a fitness program is an important decision, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. By planning carefully and pacing yourself, you can make fitness a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime.
Physical activity also keeps you in shape so you can enjoy leisure activities and safely perform work and home chores. It offers great mental and social benefits as well. The Lancet released a series of studies that attribute positive outcomes to physical activity, including “a sense of purpose and value, a better quality of life, improved sleep, and reduced stress, as well as stronger relationships and social connectedness.”
On the other hand, lack of physical activity is associated with increased risks of:
Anxiety, stress, and feelings of depression
Developing many preventable conditions, such as high blood pressure, coronary heart diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, and obesity
12 important reasons to be physically active:
1. Be healthier
2. Increase your chances of living longer
3. Feel better about yourself
4. Reduce the chance of becoming depressed
5. Sleep better at night
6. Look good
7. Be in shape
8. Get around better
9. Have stronger muscles and bones
10. Achieve or maintain a healthy weight
11. Be with friends or meet new people
12. Have fun
Physical activity reduces risk for eight conditions:
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Breast and colon cancer
Fitness for kids:
Regular physical exercise is important for younger generations too, especially with the rise of obesity in children. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and social discrimination are just a few of the possible consequences of a childhood spent in front of the television or the internet. Check out around the Blog for nutrition and fitness tips for children too.