Values of Physical Fitness
The values of physical fitness cannot be overstated as they
have an impact on our life that permeates into many different
Physical exercise has a host of positive effects:
- Contributes positively to maintaining a healthy weight - being at the proper weight and maintaining a good muscle-to-fat ratio (high % of muscle and low % of fat) helps us reduce risk for heart disease and allows for better mobility, agility and sets the stage for improved cardiovascular health.
- Builds and maintains healthy bone density - having a stronger "frame" benefits us in many ways and allows for better motor function and resistance to physical stress.
- Increases muscle strength - more muscle strength translates into being able to perform everyday chores with much less stress to our system.
- Improves muscle endurance - this allows our muscles to resist muscle fatigue when we are exposed to prolonged physical activity.
- Improving joint mobility - if we do not perform any exercise over time our joints will have a reduced range of motion. Thus, exercise will keep them flexible.
- Promotes physiological well-being - this is a state of mind in which you alter your perception of self and your environment in a positive way. Well-being is a broad concept that includes any and all positive effects that you will "feel" as a result of physical fitness.
- Reduces surgical risks - if a person is fit, undergoing any surgical procedure(s) improves chances of going through surgery with minimal risk. A strong body, strong heart and good cardio vascular system will help in lowering risk during surgery.
- Strengthens the immune system - if the immune system is stronger we are able to resist diseases and other toxins that attack our body. Even our resistance to a common cold increases.
- Improves metabolism - the ability to digest food better and easier helps our system in becoming more efficient at utilizing all the calories we ingest. For example, those who perform regular exercise will elevate their metabolism and be more efficient at fat-burning compared to those that don't do any type of physical exercise.
- Slows down the ageing process - physical fitness can shave off years from our appearance. Maintaining a smaller, youthful looking waistline, increased muscle tone and strong and proper posture are only some of the resulting factors of physical fitness that will make you look younger than your age.
- Improves cardiovascular endurance - cardio endurance is very important. If we are "cardio-fit" we are more resistant to fatigue and we are able to perform any and all activities without getting winded or excessively tired. Cardio fitness will increase our lung capacity and strengthen our heart so that we are able to raise our endurance levels.
Values of Physical Fitness - Further Benefits
Aside from the above listed benefits, physical fitness also reduces levels of cortisol in our body.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes fat build-up in the abdominal region and causes other physical and mental problems as well.
Regular exercise has shown to aid in preventing or treating life-threatening chronic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, insomnia, depression and Type 2 diabetes.
In the long term, exercise benefits the brain in that it increases the blood and oxygen flow, increases growth factors that create new nerve cells and increases chemicals that help cognition.
Studies have shown that physical activity enhances cognitive function in older adults. Thus, regular exercise helps in slowing or reversing cognitive decline.
Therefore, the above values of physical fitness are compelling evidence that physical fitness is one of the best activities we can engage in. Most importantly, it is important to emphasize that it's never late to begin exercising!
From "Values of Physical Fitness" to main page about "Importance of Fitness"