The 3 Benefits of a Fitness Lifestyle

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A fitness lifestyle is defined as a daily exercise and nutrition program that helps you improve your aerobic capacity, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition. There are many reasons for you to develop a fitness lifestyle, but I believe 3 are particularly important:

1. Improved health and reduced risk of disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two in three Americans are overweight and one-third are clinically obese. This obesity is widespread in the US. In 2009, 49 states had obesity prevalence rates greater than 20% (Colorado being the only exception). The number of overweight teenagers has more than tripled since 1980. This is at least partly due to lack of exercise. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), less than half of all Americans get the recommended amount of exercise (about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days). 25% of us never exercise at all. This has a significant impact on our health, as there is a direct link between a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and many deadly diseases. In particular, overweight and obese people are at higher risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), sleep apnea, and breathing problems. A 2005 study by the CDC and the National Institutes of Health reports that obesity kills more than 100,000 Americans each year. Therefore, the greatest benefit of a fitness lifestyle is improved health and potentially longer life.

2. Improved work performance. Yes, being fit and healthy can improve your job performance and save you and your employer money. In a 2005 study reported by ACSM, researchers found that workers were more productive and got along better with their co-workers when they used the company gym. Scores for mental and interpersonal performance, and the ability to manage time and performance demands were much higher on training days. In addition, other studies have shown that workplace training programs can pay off in reduced healthcare costs, absenteeism and stress, and increased morale and productivity.

3. Increased psychological well-being. A variety of studies have shown that people who exercise experience less depression, anger, distrust and stress than people who don’t exercise. Additionally, those who lead a fitness lifestyle tend to experience improved mood, increased self-esteem, increased personal happiness, improved body image, increased energy, and increased confidence in their physical abilities.

Thanks to Tyrone Holmes

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