What Fitness Means To Your Health
Whether you want to lose weight to change your physical appearance or you’re being proactive in preventing health issues, fitness will play a key part. Below, we’ll look at the positive effects fitness can have on your physical health, mental health, and overall quality of life.
Fitness and Physical Health
It’s no surprise that adopting a regular fitness routine will improve your overall health. While there are many different reasons someone might decide to start exercising, but no matter where your motivation comes from, the healthy habit will provide major benefits to your physical health.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women of most ethnicities. The CDC also notes that each year, over 700,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack. Those facts alone should be all the motivation you need to focus on heart health. Luckily, adding just 2.5 hours of physical activity to your weekly routine can dramatically reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
That same amount of weekly exercise will also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is a major factor in your likelihood to become diabetic. Losing weight and getting into the healthy weight range for your height, gender, and age will lower your risk. If you already have diabetes, focusing on fitness can help you manage your health. Simple strength training, cardio, and stretching can help you stay in shape and decrease pain and soreness.
Those with chronic pain might shy away from physical activity, but being physically active can help to manage pain and improve quality of life. If you’re dealing with chronic pain, light activity and plenty of stretching can do wonders. Prevention Magazine asked the American Physical Therapy Association for fitness suggestions for fibromyalgia sufferers. The representative suggested walking, yoga, short reps of light weight lifting, and stretching often for easing pain.
No matter what health issues you might be facing, there’s a good chance that developing a regular fitness routine will help you see improvements.
Fitness and Mental Health
Mental health may not get as much attention as physical health, as the symptoms and effects are often less noticeable, but mental health should be taken just as seriously. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S deal with mental illness. While seeking medical advice and treatment is the most important step to dealing with mental health issues, fitness can be used as part of the treatment plan.
Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that offer an immediate mood boost and, within a few hours, a feeling of relaxation and calmness. This can offer some relief for those dealing with depression and anxiety. When dealing with stressful situations, exercise can create a noticeable improvement in mood within just a few minutes, according to an article from The American Psychological Association. Five or six hours after that exercise, most people experience a feeling of calm and relaxation that makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
Your doctor will be able to work with you to deal with mental health issues. A healthy fitness routine will act as a complementary treatment to add to your doctor’s plan.
Fitness and Quality of Life
Along with addressing physical and mental health issues, physical activity can also make your life in general healthier and happier at every age. Early in life, regular exercise can become a healthy coping mechanism for dealing the stress. That means that you’ll be less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors and will offer an outlet when dealing with struggles. Exercise can also act as a fun activity to improve your social life. Group activity can help you connect with others and build relationships.
As we get older, some memory loss, decrease in motor skills, and changes in sleep habits are common. Staying active can help to work against those signs of aging. When your body stays active, it helps to keep your mind active. Physically, a regular fitness routine will also work to keep your bones and muscles strong, helping you maintain physical strength with age. Developing a healthy fitness routine early in life, and continuing to adjust it with your fitness level and needs over time, will keep you healthy and happy with age.
Do you struggle to stay motivated throughout the day? Wish that you could be more efficient at work? Need to keep your memory sharp? Fitness directly affects each of those areas as well.
When you actively take steps toward improving your quality of life by moving, stretching, and exercising, you’ll see the effects right away. Over time, you’ll look and feel like the best version of yourself.