When you hear the word "fitness" the first thing that comes to mind is exercise. And while exercise is a part of fitness, it's not exactly the core or the exact representation of the term. No, fitness is more about allowing your body to function in such a way that it doesn't take you much effort to lift, jump, or just move.
Fitness, in the simplest terms, is the ability to move without much effort. This movement has allowed humans to both evolve and survive over the years. But there are more benefits to fitness than evolution: overall mental and physical well-being.
While we don't exactly have to run away from mammoths or other cavemen (well, at least most of them), the benefits of being fit are definitely too necessary to ignore. In fact, being fit helps you function normally in body and in mind. Here's how:
When you show your body love by keeping it fit, it returns the favor by helping you fight off numerous types of diseases, such as:
- Being physically active strengthens your heart and lungs. It also promotes proper blood circulation which helps the body absorb and utilize nutrients faster.
- Exercising also helps burn fat by turning the fat into energy.
- Exercising helps burn calories. (Calories come from stored fat and sugar.)
- Lowering body fat enables your body to convert more glucose for replacement, and therefore helps reduce the amount of sugar in your blood.
- When blood sugar stabilizes, it promotes insulin sensitivity which could help regulate or even prevent the onset of diabetes.
- Routine physical activity, whether as part of a job or as a leisure activity, is associated with reductions in the incidence of specific cancers, in particularly colon and breast cancer.
- Even cancer patients can benefit from routine physical activity to help cope with the symptoms of their cancer and aid in their recovery.
Boosts Brain Power
Exercise keeps your brain and mind fit, too:
- Some of the reasons exercising is good for the brain include stress reduction, clarity of mind, and improving the efficiency of neurological functions and nerve connections or the brain-muscle response.
- Exercising may even help reduce the incidence of dementia or Alzheimer's disease in adults by mitigating cerebrovascular risk while promoting proper blood circulation in the brain.
- More active or higher fit individuals are capable of allocating greater attentional resources toward the environment and are able to process information more quickly.
The reasons fitness is important have varied over time, but the importance of it remains consistent. Unfortunately, being fit has become an option nowadays and a lack of physical activity negatively affects both the body and the mind. To negate this, it's ever more important to make sure you find ways to move a lot even if it's something as simple as walking around your house or climbing a small flight of stairs.
After all, even the smallest steps can help keep you happy and healthy.