Keeping a regular exercise regimen for yourself will pay off big time in many areas of your life.
We know that staying active is one of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy. But did you know it can also improve your overall well-being and quality of life?
Here are just a few of the ways physical activity can help you feel better, look better and live healthier.
It’s a natural mood lifter. Regular physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger. You know that “feel-good sensation” you get after doing something physical? Think of it as a “happy pill” with no side effects! Most people notice they feel better over time as physical activity becomes a regular part of their lives.
It keeps you physically fit and able. Without regular activity, your body slowly loses its strength, stamina and the ability to function properly. It’s like the old saying: you don’t stop moving from growing old, you grow old from not moving. Exercise increases muscle strength, which in turn increases your ability to do other physical activities.
It helps keep the doctor away. Stand up when at all possible! Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies show that people who spend several hours a day watching television without taking breaks to get up and move face a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Being more active can help you lower your blood pressure, boost your levels of good cholesterol, improve your blood flow (circulation), keep your weight under control and prevent bone loss that could lead to osteoporosis. All of this can add up to fewer medical expenses and medications later in life.
It can help you live longer. It’s true that 70 is the new 60 — but only if you’re healthy. People who are physically active and at a healthy weight live about seven years longer than those who are not active and are obese. And the important part is that those extra years are generally healthier years. Staying active helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging, so active adults maintain their quality of life and independence longer as they age.
Regular physical activity helps with many other things, too. It can help you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free. It boosts your energy level so you can get more done. It helps you manage stress and tension. It promotes a positive attitude and outlook on life. It helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. It helps you improve your self-image and self-confidence and can also get you outdoors more often.
Mike Gartz is a personal trainer who owns I Hate My Trainer at 117 E. Reynolds St. Plant City.