Being fit and healthy definitely has its perks. However, as with anything that is worthwhile in life, you need to work for it. For example, it’s much easier to go straight home after work and sit on the couch as opposed to stopping off at the gym and doing a spinning class. It’s also much easier to grab a tasty hamburger and fries for dinner as opposed to preparing a healthy, lean meal that is low in saturated fats.
However, although being healthy may seem like a lot of work in the short term, the long term benefits far outweigh the short-term inconveniences. Take a look.
Reduced risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It is also a significant cause of disability. Many things can raise your risk of heart disease and these are called risk factors. It is not possible to control some of these; however, there are many that it is possible to manage. Learning about these risk factors can lower your risk of heart disease.
Exercise is superb for your heart and overall fitness and if you don’t exercise, you are at risk for developing heart disease. In fact, several years ago, the American Heart Association included inactivity on its list of risk factors for heart disease. This list also consists of the following items:
- Family history,
- High blood pressure,
- High cholesterol,
- Diabetes, in addition to
In order to assist with preventing the occurrence of heart disease, try to include at least 30 minutes of low-intensity physical activity, for example walking or gardening, on most days of the week. If it is not possible for you to fit in a single session, split up your activity into three 10-minute blocks that are spread throughout your day. And, of course, ensure that you check in with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
There is one significant benefit of exercise which can and will, benefit you in nearly every facet of your life. This is energy. Research has shown that exercise helps you to feel more energetic as well as alert.
Any physical exertion generates an increased requirement for oxygen. If you are not as fit as the next person, this need may be seen sooner; however, we all find ourselves breathing deeper and quicker when we take part in exercise.
Owing to this amplified use of oxygen, our lung capacity also increases with activity. Over time, with continued training, aerobic capacity increases. This allows you to deliver more and more oxygen to your brain and bloodstream. As a consequence, you feel more awake, alert in addition to ready for action!
As well as allowing increased levels of oxygen to reach your brain and bloodstream, exercise lets your blood itself circulate more efficiently, transport more oxygen to your muscles in addition to allowing for increased functioning throughout your body as well as heightened energy production.
Over and above assisting more oxygen reach your brain as well as bloodstream, physical activity produces endorphins:
- Endorphins are chemicals that are produced at the base of your brain. When these chemicals are released they are responsible for providing feelings of pain relief and well-being.
Even moderate or light physical activity (and not just strenuous exercise) will cause your body to release endorphins. This creates a similar, if not as strong, influence on your mood. This lifting of your spirits, as well as your mood, also is responsible for producing the effect of making you feel more energized as well as ready to take on the rest of your day.
When it comes to toning up, you want to do each of the following three activities on a consistent basis::
- Resistance training in order to tone your muscles
- Regular cardiovascular exercise for overall health in addition to fat loss
- Keeping up a healthy diet in order to reduce body fat as well as reveal your muscles
The fitness lifestyle can be a challenge to start up. However, once you get going and maintain your focus on your goals and aspirations, you’ll very quickly see the long-term benefits. If you have any questions regarding a new lifestyle of fitness it is advisable to consult a trained personal trainer to help you with this process.