If there was ever a month designated to improving Americans’ quality of life, it’s got to be May.
The fifth month of the year is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a perfect time to examine the level of physical activity in each of our lives and make a plan to become more physically fit.
Physical fitness is a continuing effort to maintain optimal health through movement, which can help us maintain an optimal weight, strengthen muscles and bones, and help minimize chronic health conditions. Being physically fit promotes quicker recovery from injury and surgery, as well as positive mental health, which can help us reduce stress.
ProHealth knows the importance of maintaining physical fitness and how doing so can help us reap health benefits regardless of age.
An inactive lifestyle results in a higher risk of serious, chronic conditions such as:
- High blood cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
The following are just a few of the ways fitness improves our lives:
- Reduces risk of injury: Fit bodies don’t get hurt as often. Why? Stronger muscles, denser bones, improved flexibility and greater balance all work to keep bodies upright and functioning properly. Falls are a leading cause of injury and death for senior citizens – physical fitness minimizes the risk of falls.
- Boosts mood: Think about it: Do you feel better after a nice walk outside or after being sedentary on the couch all day? Research shows that exercise can boost our mood, improve our self-esteem and confidence, and help fight off anxiety and depression. It’s a continual cycle – the more we do, the better we feel, and the more we do the next day.
- Saves money: Being unhealthy is expensive! All of those doctor visits, surgeries, and prescription drug costs add up quickly. Being fit will help reduce the risk of developing expensive health conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
- Live longer: Being physically fit and practicing healthier lifestyle habits can help you live longer and better. Some research shows that living an unhealthy lifestyle – plagued by smoking, inactivity, poor diet, etc. – can reduce lifespans by up to 23 years.
- Increases enjoyment of life: By increasing the ways we spend time with friends and family, we can boost our quality of life. Being sedentary means we miss out on walks with neighbors, playing catch with children or grandchildren, or going fishing with friends. Physical fitness allows us to do more things with loved ones.