The Importance of Fitness and Exercise

Fitness and exercise programs have been building in popularity in recent years. This follows several decades in which sedentary lifestyles have contributed to significant numbers of people becoming obese – including children – an increase in type 2 diabetes, and a growing awareness that getting fit and keeping fit helps prevent illness and increases your life expectancy.

Our grandparents lived far more physically active lives than we do, both at work and at home, and didn’t have the same health risks we have. They didn’t have the same degree of access to television, computer games and automobiles as we have today, which encourage us to take it easy and become physically inactive.

The so called ‘baby boomers, those adults at or near retirement now, tend to be far more aware of health issues, and tend to live longer. They are careful in watching their weight and more likely to make general fitness and exercise an essential part of their daily lives, than previous generations.

There are many ways to exercise to get fit. You can join a gym or sports club, you can buy exercise equipment and work out at home, or you can just take the simple step of becoming more active in your everyday life. Walk don’t drive. Take the stairs not the elevator. Walking is a simple yet effective daily exercise that can be done by anyone. The important thing is to do something – anything – to start getting yourself fit.

Why Should you Start a Fitness and Exercise Program?

Being fit and exercising regularly are good for you. That’s a fact. Fitness and exercise can prevent disease, help the proper functioning of your body, and can extend your life. They can make your life more productive and enjoyable as well. The alternative – being overweight or obese – can take years off your life. Obesity can contribute to:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Complications in pregnancy

Also when an obese person doesn’t exercise there is an increased risk of some cancers.

Unfortunately, being overweight has become a way of life for many Americans. Physical inactivity and eating fast food that is high in carbohydrates and fat, have all contributed to a decline in fitness and general health. The really worrying part though, is the increase in child obesity.

Children seem to spend far too much time on the couch watching TV or playing computer games in their rooms, and not enough time involved in physical exercise. Ideally, parents should discourage sedentary activity in their children and get them involved in more outdoor pursuits that will get their heart rate up and help lose weight. After-school and weekend activities such as swimming, soccer, athletics should be encouraged


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