We all have a vague idea that being fit is better than not, but what does “being fit” even mean? Is it the same thing as “losing weight”? Is it another way of saying “getting in shape”?
Being fit means many things. But most simply put, if you’re regularly active and eat a balanced diet, then you’re probably fit.
Physical activity can help prevent heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. It also helps prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Research shows that a physically active lifestyle can reduce your risk of dying early by up to 30 percent. And if you’re already diagnosed with something like high blood pressure or diabetes? Fitness can help manage those conditions.
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity physical activity (or an equivalent combination). The HHS explains that this weekly minimum amount of exercise should be spread throughout the week — so 20 or 30 minutes five times a week is just as beneficial as 50 minutes twice a week.
Fitness can improve your sleep. If you’re struggling to fall asleep or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, you might want to try hitting the gym a little more often. Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality, with people reporting falling asleep faster and sleeping longer when they exercise regularly. Those who work out also report feeling more rested during the day compared with those who don’t. Since it’s recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night, this is an impressive benefit from just one workout!
Do you feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to squeeze in a workout? Do you find it hard to drag yourself off to the gym after a long day? Does your body ache from sitting all day at work? Fortunately, the benefits of exercise go beyond burning calories and toning muscles. Regular physical activity can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. You get extra mood-boosting benefits if you exercise outside: fresh air and sunshine can elevate your energy level.
Exercise is also good for relieving stress and improving mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. And other research shows that exercising regularly makes people feel more energetic throughout the day.
Exercising regularly has been found to reduce levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, increase self esteem and improve cognitive function. Physical activity is an important part of our lives because it can help us live longer healthier lives and sets us up for success by allowing us to be more alert when we need to be productive or attentive during class or work hours
Exercise can boost your energy and productivity. Working out before work, for example, improves blood flow to the brain, which increases oxygen levels in the blood. This boosts alertness and keeps you from feeling drowsy during the day. Exercise also reduces stress and anxiety, two things that can lead to poor performance at work. If you feel more energetic at work but still struggle with memory or concentration problems, exercise might be able to help there too: studies show it can improve memory!
Fitness can help you lose weight and get in shape.
Fitness helps increase your metabolic rate, which enables you to burn calories more efficiently throughout the day. Exercise has two benefits for weight loss: it burns calories and builds muscle. The more muscle mass you build, the more calories you’ll burn at rest, meaning that your body will continue to burn calories at a higher rate even when not working out. This is why strength training is still important when trying to lose weight. In addition to that, doing cardio regularly can help increase your metabolism as well since it exercises your heart muscle and keeps it strong and healthy so that it can pump blood throughout the body with less effort. Cardio also improves circulation by increasing blood flow throughout our bodies!
Fitness is a lifelong pursuit, and it’s normal for it to take some time before you are able to see the results of your hard work. Maintaining a workout regimen can be tough, but once you are able to hit your goals, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will motivate you to set new ones. Staying active and continuing down the path towards fitness may become easier once you have seen results from your efforts. You will feel more confident in yourself and your abilities, which will translate into other parts of your life as well.
Being fit makes it easier to do other things you enjoy.
Play with your kids or your pets.
Play a sport or engage in another hobby.
Climb stairs more easily.
Walk around longer without getting tired.
Be more active on vacation, like hiking or swimming.
Get out for a walk when the weather is nice.
Work harder at your job and get ahead faster than inactive coworkers, which can lead to promotions and raises down the road that will help you afford better food and vacations.
Working out can also help improve performance at work by helping you stay focused and energized throughout the day by keeping your mind clear of distractions, as well as improving sleep quality, which leads to greater energy levels and motivation during waking hours.* Do yard work for exercise (rather than sitting in front of the TV) and have a beautiful outdoor space that you’re proud of and can show off to guests.* Take a class like one where you learn how to cook healthy meals so you’ll know what ingredients go into all different kinds of dishes, which will make dining out healthier too.* Get outside after dinner for some fresh air instead of staying cooped up inside playing video games into the night hours—this is especially important if there are kids in your household who may not be getting enough physical activity either!
Like in any other area of your life, setting and achieving fitness goals leads to an improvement in self-esteem and self-confidence. If you reach a certain weight or fitness level, you feel as if you have accomplished something significant. This naturally leads to a greater sense of pride in your efforts and a boost to your self-esteem. You realize that you can set reasonable goals for yourself and then meet or exceed those goals through hard work and dedication.
This is true whether the goal is as simple as fitting into your old clothes again or entering a 5K race. And it’s true if the goal is related to strength training, such as lifting heavier weights than you did before, or endurance training, such as running longer distances than you thought possible before starting a workout program.
Reason number two: you’ll feel an increased sense of overall well-being and satisfaction when you’re fit.
When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which may help to improve mood and mental wellbeing. Some studies have shown that regular exercise may lead to a reduction in symptoms of mild depression or anxiety. This can help provide a natural remedy for people with depression and/or anxiety disorders who are having trouble with conventional treatments.