Most fitness professionals will encourage adults and children to spend at least a half hour daily engaging in vigorous exercise to improve or maintain health. Active people, after all, feel better, live healthier lives and enjoy the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight. However, you may be surprised to learn about some health benefits of exercise that may be less obvious but are still highly important to our overall well-being.
In fact, fitness expert Chuck Runyon, who is also co-founder of the Anytime Fitness franchise, says: “Your fitness level affects every nook and cranny of your life.” Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that exercise actually increases overall energy levels. Further, regular exercise improves memory and enhances the brain’s function, increases clarity and concentration and reduces anxiety and stress. The immune system gets a huge boost from regular exercise, resulting in less cold, allergy and flu symptoms. Overall productivity, improved mood and a greater sense of well-being are all additional health benefits of exercise. Also associated with physical fitness–higher self-esteem, a more positive outlook and better memory. Finally, those who adhere to a fitness routine usually enjoy a better night’s sleep.
The current White House fitness initiative, LetsMove.gov, was created by First Lady Michelle Obama to increase the overall health and fitness of today’s youth by encouraging parents and community leaders to get involved in healthier lifestyles. By implementing healthier lifestyle choices and getting children involved, parents can have fun with their children, create lasting memories and instill habits that will improve the quality of their life.
While physical fitness has long been associated with disease prevention and weight loss (or maintenance), physical fitness is also a vital component for improving the mental and emotional health of both children and adults, increasing self-esteem and productivity for all.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chicago Tribune; The Province