We all know that being physically fit is good for us, but exactly why is physical fitness important?
Here are the top 10 benefits of physical fitness:
1. You're more likely to live a long and healthy life.
Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. It also reduces the risk of having a stroke. In one eight year study of more than 20,000 men, those who were lean but unfit had twice the risk of death as those who were lean and fit.
2. You'll have more energy, strength and stamina.
People who complain that they don't have enough energy to exercise fail to realize that working out gives you energy. In one study, middle-aged women who lifted weights for a year became 27% more active in daily life than before they started lifting weights. Regular exercise also increases your strength and stamina, allowing you to better handle common activities such as carrying a heavy bag of groceries or climbing a flight of stairs.
3. You'll keep excess body fat off.
If you try and lose weight simply by dieting, you'll lose some muscle along with any body fat you lose and you'll slow down your metabolism. If your weight loss program includes exercise, you'll lose body fat without losing muscle and without slowing down your metabolism. If you're currently at a healthy weight, regular exercise will help you avoid putting on excess body fat in the future.
4. You'll keep your bones strong.
Both men and women start losing bone mass around age 35. Lifting weights can not only stop the loss of bone mass, but in some cases it can even reverse it. This drastically reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercises like walking and running also help keep bones strong.
5. You'll prevent or reduce low back pain.
Strengthening your abdominal and lower back muscles can help prevent low back pain, and it can also reduce discomfort if you already suffer from this pain. You might also be able to avoid back surgery by strengthening your abdominal and lower back muscles. In one study, 35 of 38 people who had been recommended for back surgery were able to avoid surgery by following an aggressive strengthening program.
6. You'll keep your mind sharp.
Multiple studies have confirmed that regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mind. Regular exercise improves brain function, which helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
7. You'll improve your mood.
A large amount of research shows that you have a better sense of well-being following a workout. Thanks to chemicals released in the brain during exercise, feelings of depression, anxiety, stress and anger are diminished during a workout.
8. You'll get sick less often.
Both aerobic exercise and weight lifting strengthen the immune system. The stronger your immune system, the less often you'll get sick.
9. You'll sleep better.
People who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night than people who are sedentary.
10. You'll enjoy life more.
Life is much more enjoyable when you're fit and healthy. You look good and you feel good, and you're more productive in everything you do.
Why is physical fitness important? Because many common health problems are the result of a sedentary lifestyle and they can be minimized or prevented by improving your physical fitness.
Visit the Health and Fitness Product Reviews page for information on some of the best resources available for getting fit and healthy.