There are many factors that will determine your overall level of fitness and health. When most of us contemplate what we can do to improve our fitness and health, we think of our diet and how much we exercise. There are other factors—healthy relationships, mental stimulation, restful sleep, and so on—that are also important for our well-being. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on why exercise should not be neglected if you would like to improve your health.
The common expression “use it or lose it” applies to your body. Fitness & exercise go hand in hand, and, if you don’t use your body on a regular basis, it will not function optimally. People who live sedentary lifestyles develop bodies that are weak and inefficient. Not only will your muscles waste away, but you are more likely to develop fat deposits, injuries, illnesses, and serious diseases. Inactivity is a risk factor for many health problems, just as smoking, excessive drinking, and other unhealthy habits are health risk factors.
Lasting Benefits of Regular Exercise
Exercise is an activity that you perform to improve your level of fitness and to gain a number of health benefits. To achieve the benefits of exercise, physical activity should be performed on a regular basis. Just as making a habit of eating healthy foods leads to successful weight management and long-term health, regular exercise is essential for maintaining optimum fitness long term.
Incorporating fitness & exercise into your everyday life offers many lasting benefits, including reduced risk of a number of health conditions and diseases. Are you concerned about high blood pressure, heart disease, or cancer? Staying physically active will increase the level of “good” high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) and decrease unhealthy low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) in your body. There are widespread positive effects associated with physical fitness training that help in preventing or managing cardiovascular disease, depression, stroke, metabolic syndrome, certain types of cancer, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.
Exercise causes the body to burn stored fat. While you may not notice a difference in your weight after just a few workout sessions, you will be able to drop a considerable amount of weight by staying dedicated to an exercise program. The great thing about exercise is that you don’t need to become a marathon runner to lose or manage your weight. If walking a few miles a day fits your lifestyle, then even that will boost your overall fitness.
Developing a defined physique is a common goal for people interested in fitness & exercise. Regular exercise will help you to lose excess weight so that the muscles you develop are apparent. In fact, there are reciprocal benefits of losing weight and developing muscles. Not only will your muscles appear more defined as you lose excess weight, but your body will burn more calories as you develop your muscles. According to WebMD, the body will burn about 35-50 additional calories per day for each pound of muscle that a person develops. As you strengthen your body, it will also become more efficient at burning calories!
Strong bones, more restful sleep, improved skin health, greater endurance, and increased energy are additional benefits of exercise & fitness. As you develop a more active lifestyle, you will notice one positive change after another. The true benefits of exercise become much more apparent over time when physical activity becomes a regular component of your daily schedule. Find an exercise routine that you can stick with, and then make it a top priority to sustain the routine long term. You are sure to look and feel better as you develop a greater sense of invigoration and overall well-being through exercise.
Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon and writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.