Why Is Fitness Necessary?
You probably know all the excuses for not exercising. Unfortunately, these excuses often outweigh every motivation you have to go to the gym, climb on your bike, or jog around the block. So when you start thinking up excuses, remember these benefits of working out. Some are obvious, others are less so. But they’ll all help you battle the excuses.
Fitness Fundamentals: Increased Athleticism
Fitness results in better coordination of muscles, and an increase in strength, flexibility and stamina. While improvements in these areas certainly help athletic performance, they also help reduce the risk of injury: Stronger, limber muscles are less susceptible to strain and sprain.
Fitness Fundamentals: Better Posture
Poor posture is a major cause of injury, and often leads to big problems later in life. Exercising in proper form promotes better posture, as well as the strengthening and stretching of muscles that help you stand up straight.
Fitness Fundamentals: Fat Loss
Aerobic and strengthening exercises can result is weight loss when combined with a calorie-reducing diet. Without exercise, dieting can cause the loss of muscle as well as fat. An aerobic exercise regimen burns fat, while building muscle. This may mean less dramatic weight loss, but since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, the result is longer lasting.
Fitness Fundamentals: Improved Heart Health
Though the symptoms of heart disease may not surface until middle age, the onset of disease can start taking place as early as the teens. Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week can reverse years of cardio-neglect. In fact, consistent, regular exercise actually strengthens the heart, resulting in more blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. At the same time, aerobic exercise lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both major health risks for many Americans.
Fitness Fundamentals: Heightened Self Image
A fitness regimen offers many psychological benefits, but the biggest payoff comes from an improved self image. Achieving fitness goals leads to self confidence, improved body image, self awareness and esteem. Athletes often recount the first time they surpassed what they believed the limit of their skills, and how this affected their opinions of themselves. In addition, the discipline necessary to accomplish personal fitness goals can have a positive effect on your professional career.
Fitness Fundamentals: Social Benefits
Many diet fads claim radical social benefits with a “better body.” While it’s shallow and potentially disappointing to expect a trim figure will change your life, people involved in activities they enjoy and who have a positive self image often show an ease in social situations. Ultimately, it’s the betterment of your confidence, not your waistline, that leads to improved social life.
Fitness Fundamentals: Intellectual Gains
The reasons aren’t entirely understood, but several theories promote the effects of discipline and self confidence gained through working out. Fitness also helps the immune system, meaning better work performance, and fewer missed days of work and school. Exercise increases blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, including the brain. This may explain why studies have shown that those who exercise react more quickly to stimulus than their less fit counterparts, pointing to a possible link between motor and intellectual skills.
Fitness Fundamentals: Enjoyment
You may forget that the most important reason for fitness is because you enjoy it. People often mention weight control, feeling “better,” and gaining strength as priorities for working out. But you won’t lose weight, get strong, or feel “better” if you can’t find motivation to exercise. One way to increase enjoyment is to try several different things, or find a new workout location.
Browse The Fitness Fundamentals Archives
- Make Time for FitnessIs going to the gym daunting? “By the time I change, workout, shower, get back, it’s a two-hour ordeal.” “I have kids, a job, I don’t have time to work out.” “Exercise is a luxury.” Sound familiar?
- Demystifying YogaYoga: So healthy! But also, so intimidating. The word is out about its myriad benefits—improved strength and flexibility, reduced stress, greater peace of mind—but something about yoga strikes fear into the limbs of newcomers in a way that aerobics and spinning simply don’t.
- Exercise Regularly? It’s Not EnoughYou may be diligent about watching what you eat, exercising regularly and taking time for yourself, but as it turns out, that might not be enough.