From childhood to old age, being physically fit is very important for several reasons. You will have more energy during the day, sleep better at night, feel more alert and emotionally sound, and your body will be able to fight off illnesses and cope with stress a lot better than it did before.
When many people think of fitness, they imagine long hours at the gym, strict diets, and having less energy during the day. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that there are many ways to become physically fit. By walking up the stairs or making small changes to your current diet may be all you will need. While you do not have to exercise every day, you should make an effort to create a regular exercise routine and stick to it.
While starting an exercise program may not be easy, however, by incorporating physical activity into your daily life along with healthy eating, you will experience positive health benefits and be on the way for a longer and healthier life.
Popular Activities You Can Try To Become Physically Fit
The types of activities you want to try should become a natural part of your life rather than something you try to fit into it. For most people, getting involved in some sort of a physical activity for 30 minutes, 3 days a week is all they need in order to feel better and have the energy to deal with issues they may encounter during the day.
There are several types of activities you can try to become physically fit. Some are actual sports, others are specific types of exercises designed for health and fitness such as:
- Jogging or running
- Weight training
Aerobic exercises involve any type of physical activity, rhythmic in nature, which increases your breathing and heart rate so your body is better able to utilize oxygen. It includes activities like brisk walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, and even aerobic dancing that strengthen your heart and lungs and keep you healthy. Any exercise that causes the body to increase its oxygen intake is considered aerobic exercise.
When most people think of aerobic exercise, they think of group programs that involve a lot of jumping, stretching, and doing steps. But these exercise programs are not the only type of aerobic exercise you can try. There’s more than one way to improve cardiovascular fitness that raises your heart rate and oxygen consumption.
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline that originated in ancient India over five thousand years ago. In recent years, yoga has become quite popular in the West as a form of physical exercise. Yoga involves a series of stretches that can be done alone or with a group. These stretches are meant to lengthen the muscles in the body, reduce stress, and allow a person to relax.
Walking at a brisk pace is a wonderful activity that almost anyone can do. You can walk in the park, on the sidewalk or anywhere else you can think of. Not only will walking raise your heart rate, it will also tone your thigh and glut muscles.
Jogging or Running
Jogging or running has been a popular activity to stay physically fit. Before you take up jogging or running, you should make sure your body, especially your knees and ankles, can withstand the impact of your feet on the surface you are running on. Many people experience injury when they jog or run too often or without using proper equipment.
If you want to build muscle and increase endurance, weight training is the ideal exercise for you. When using weights that are of different sizes and creating a program based on repetitions and resistance, you will be able to strengthen and sculpt your body. However, weight training is not for everyone, You should consult your doctor to make sure you are physically fit for this type of training.
Depending on the locality you live in, you can find several sports activities you can participate in. These can be be individual sports or team sports. Joining a local baseball team or racquet ball club is a great way to get physically fit. By engaging in sports activities you will build muscle, increase your heart rate, and lose weight if you have to.
Making Time For Physical Activity
When you see people engage in physical activities to stay active and fit, you may wonder where to find the time to exercise. Since many people have careers, families, and day to day chores, it can be tricky to devote time to physical activity.
Some of the ways to fit some physical activity into your daily routine include:
- Exercise in the morning or at night.
- Schedule gym time during lunch hour.
- Break up a 30 minute workout into two 15 minute sessions.
- Walk whenever possible.
- When traveling, stay in hotels with gyms.
- Join employee sponsored sports teams.
- Find gyms with a 24-hour service.
While it may still be difficult to find time between appointments, grocery store trips, your child’s after school activities, and other events, however, if you get a little creative, you should be able to find a few hours a week to devote to physical activity.
Health Risks Of An Inactive Lifestyle
Over the years, there have been several studies that showed the need for physical fitness for a number of good reasons. Those who are not physically active are usually:
- Depressed more often
- Have less energy to complete tasks
- Experience more stress
- More likely to have eating disorders or other illnesses
- Have a shorter life span
If you are not physically fit, you may be experiencing one or more of the above problems. Even if you are not overweight, you may not be as physically fit as you should be.
When you are not physically active, you are more likely to be prone to some diseases such as:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart stroke
- Heart disease
Benefits Of Physical Activity
There are several good reasons why you should incorporate physical activity into your life. Along with proper nutrition, physical activity can provide many benefits for you in the long run such as:
- Emotional well-being
- Intellectual well-being
- Being an example for others
Your health is very important because without it you could not function normally. Being sick all the time, not performing as well at work, or not being able to spend enough time with your family can also cause depression and other emotional issues.
While creating a fitness program and staying with it may be frustrating at first, getting sick often or developing a disease is much worse. For example, if you need to lose weight, the only way to do so is through diet and exercise. Once you reach your weight goal, you will still need to exercise and participate in physical fitness activities so your body will stay as healthy as possibly.
Regular physical activity can provide several long-term health benefits such as:
- Prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke
- Control your weight
- Reduce fat in your body
- Make your muscles stronger
- Promote strong bone, muscle, and joint health
- Condition your heart and lungs
- Build overall strength and endurance
- Sleep better
- Increase your chances of living longer
In addition to being physically healthy, you need to be emotionally healthy as well. Those who are content with their physical appearance and overall fitness level, have more energy, are able to better socialize with others, perform better in their jobs, and are able to devote quality time to their families.
While many people don’t pay much attention to their emotional well-being, however, studies have shown that those who are depressed for long periods of time are at risk of developing illnesses or diseases. Taking care of your body, mind, and soul is very important if you want to lead a long, healthy and productive life. Exercising also releases hormones which can help reduce stress and make you feel better during the day. Physical activity will also create a sense of achievement that can keep you motivated to reach your goals and even boost your self-confidence.
Those who exercise have more control over their concentration levels, which can improve memory, speech, and other skills needed to survive on the job, raise a family, and live a satisfied life. When you are able to concentrate fully, you can complete more tasks, and enjoy what is going on around you.
Being An Example for Others
Exercising with your children is a good way to show your children the importance of physical activity in life. Going for a walk, kicking a ball, or visiting a playground are all ways for the entire family to enjoy being outdoors, getting some exercise, and spending time together. But children are not the only ones you can influence. Co-workers, friends, or even those who see you walking or running each day may begin to take a closer look at their own exercise regimen and get motivated to create one.
If you choose to join a sports team or a walking club, you will be able to meet other people in your neighborhood who are conscious about physical fitness as well. Surrounding yourself with those people who have the same or similar goals is one way to stay motivated. Creating a sense of community begins when people have a common goal. If you are new to the neighborhood, or recently retired, joining local groups will allow you to meet new people, which will enhance your physical, emotional, and intellectual health.