Sure, you hear and see it everywhere: itБs important to get fit and then stay in shape, but you donБt exactly know why. Many people aim to get physically fit for aestheticsБgoing up or down a size, looking thinner or more muscularБbut itБs about more than that. Some people are naturally inclined to be physically active, with regular activity like sports or morning sessions at a gym. Many more people find themselves in a daily struggle to hit the running tracks or weights room for even just a fraction of the recommended 2. 5 hours per week of physical activity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US. So what does it mean to be physically fit? According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, itБs Бa set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity. Б Our bodies respond to physical activity in a way that benefits our different systems: musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and endocrine.
The health benefits are endless: a lowered risk of premature death, coronary heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes. On an everyday basis, when you get moving regularly, youБre at a lower risk of depression and anxiety, and youБre more likely to be in a good mood, and will be more able to perform daily tasks with ease throughout your life. HereБs what happens when you get physically fit:
Ask someone if itБs important to remain fit and healthy and youБll no doubt hear a quick Бyes. Б But you may receive a pause if you ask why itБs important. When you understand why an action is beneficial, you have greater motivation to perform that action, and remaining fit and healthy is no different. Additionally, if you can rattle off a list of the benefits of good fitness, you can motivate friends and loved ones to follow in your healthy path. Unless you regularly engage in dangerous activities, the best thing you can do to increase your chance of a long life is to remain fit and healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that someone who is physically active for seven hours per week is 40 percent less likely to die early than someone whoБs active for less than 30 minutes per week. Remaining fit reduces your risk of suffering from heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and many types of cancer. In addition to the likelihood of living longer, youБll have a better quality of life and greater chance of remaining independent during those extra years if you exercise and consume a healthy diet. Staying in good shape gives you more energy to perform everyday tasks at work and at home. That makes it more likely that youБll have energy to spare when the work day is over and itБs time to have some fun. If you remain fit as you age you also reduce your risk of falling. In other words, a fit person is not only at less risk for many diseases, but is also less likely to be injured accidentally.
ItБs not only the Zen masters whoБll tell you that the mind and body are connected. Medical professionals understand the connection as well. According the CDC, remaining active and fit reduces your risk of depression and helps you maintain a healthy brain. The brain, like your muscles, is a physical construction that can decline with age. But just as exercise can keep the rest of your body healthy, it can also slow or even reverse harmful age-related effects. ItБs self-evident that a fit and healthy individual wonБt spend as much money for health care as the average unfit person. But being fit doesnБt only save you money today, it will likely do so in the future as well. A 2012 study by the University of Texas-Southwestern and the Cooper Institute examined the health care costs of 20,000 middle-age men and women over a 10-year period. The study concluded that the healthiest participants had 38 percent lower medical costs later in life than participants who were not fit.