Although the benefits of being active seems to be of interest to many people in today’s world, the numerous reasons often go unannounced because of the stress that is put on physical image rather than overall health. Physical activity includes any action that strengthens muscles or strengthens the cardiovascular system. It can be performed by aerobic exercises such as sports and other activities that increase cardiovascular endurance or anaerobic exercise such as weight training that focus on increasing short term muscle strength. I could stand up here for hours and go on and on about the endless amazing things exercise brings a person, but instead I will highlight what I find highest on the list. The most important benefits of exercise are the maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system, stress reduction and mood improvement, and keeping body fat away resulting in a nice physical appearance. First I will start by describing the way exercise helps to avoid illnesses.
Putting aside a part of your day to focus on activity is a guaranteed way to improve your cardiovascular system. According to David Warburton and colleagues, this has a direct affect on your chance of developing many illnesses and diseases such as arthritis, breast and colon cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Not only does it help to avoid major long term illnesses, having a healthy heart and lungs enables a person to participate more in every day activities such as walking and working around the home. Regular exercise will decrease the likelihood of getting out of breath during these simple tasks. David Warburton and colleagues mentioned that the volume of physical activity and health status has a graded linear relationship, meaning that the most physically active people are at the lowest risk. Not only does exercise decrease the risk of premature death, it also aids in keeping the mind sharp and mood lifted.
For many people that first start an exercise program, the first thing they mention is the noticeable decrease in their level of stress. This puts much less strain on relationships, work, and it improves personal well-being. Activity will also improve one’s mood by the release of endorphins in the brain, which are the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. This also works to avoid depression or recover from it. Although exercising may be tiresome because of the strain put on your muscles, heart, and lungs, it actually decreases fatigue as well as helps a person sleep at night. It stimulates the brain and gets the blood flowing, which results in being more alert and “ready to take on the day”. Now for what the majority of people care about most – looks.
Regular physical activity works to maintain a person’s weight, or lose weight if they consume a nutritious and healthy diet as well. In today’s society, so much emphasis is put on physical appearance. This results in many people working out to improve their body to look more like the celebrities and models in the media. Although many people seem to only stay active for the sake of looking good in a bathing suit, they are also improving their psychological state and cardiovascular system. Maintaining a healthy weight has many benefits including less strain on bones and joints, always being able to fit into your clothes, and much discomfort is avoided. Also, most people will notice that they feel more confident and less insecure about their body when they are active and strong.
These benefits are substantial but do not paint a complete picture of all that exercise provides a person. Although I explained each of these benefits individually, they all influence one another and work together to result in a healthy body. I can say with certainty that going to the gym on a regular basis as well as playing sports such as soccer and speed skating throughout my life, has resulted in a higher concentration level in school and studying, the capacity to endure long hikes and bike rides, and a positive and energetic outlook on life whether it is a good or bad day. The time it takes to work out on a daily basis is minimal relative to the benefits you get out of it. A healthy cardiovascular system will aid in living a long life full of health and wellness, less stress and better moods will account for a more positive outlook on life, and the improvement or maintenance of your physical appearance will keep you looking healthy and fit.