Physical fitness plays an important role in our overall well-being. Studies have shown engaging in moderate physical activity 3 to 5 times a week improves several areas of our life. There are many benefits of regular exercise including decreased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
In addition to the physical benefits, regular exercise helps to improve our mental and spiritual health. Learning about various exercise activities and developing a routine are keys to being consistent with any fitness goal.
COMPONENTS OF PHYSICAL FITNESS
Physical fitness is the ability of the body to perform at its highest level. Physically fit individuals can complete daily activities with energy left over to participate in recreational activities. Skill and health-related components are two groups that help determine physical fitness. (1)
– reaction time
– muscular strength
– body composition
BENEFITS ON THE BODY
Physical activities required to maintain weight vary from person to person. The suggested amount of time for moderately intense exercise is 2.5 hrs each week. The duration of high-intensity workouts, such as cardio, should be around 75 minutes each week.
Losing weight involves a combination of diet and physical exercise. This is important for individuals who, despite working out, have difficulty losing weight. Unless you engage in really high levels of physical activities, it will be difficult to lose extra weight. This is due to the body needing to burn off more calories than are being consumed. (2)
Bones and Muscles
Regular exercise has a significant impact on muscular endurance and strength. Muscles are composed of different tissues, filaments, and fibers. It’s important to maintain some sort of physical activity in order to maintain the efficiency of our muscles. Muscular strength is determined by how well a muscle can exert maximal force against resistance, such as pushing an object across a room. (3) You can increase muscle strength through weight training, which actively engages muscle groups.
It’s important to maintain strong muscles because as we age, bone density begins to decline. Studies have shown that participating in moderately intense aerobic strength training helps to slow down this decline. (4) When bones lose their density they become brittle, increasing the risk of bone fractures and breaks.
Another benefit of regular exercise for our muscles is the increase in muscle endurance it provides. Muscular endurance refers to how well a muscle is able to maintain a contraction. (5) This is important because muscular endurance plays a significant role in carrying out daily functions such as walking, cleaning, and holding objects.
BENEFITS ON MENTAL HEALTH
I can say from personal experience that regular exercise helps to clear my mind and put me in a better mood. Research results indicate that participating in aerobic exercise, or a combination of that with weight training, a couple of times a week is beneficial to your mental well-being.
Endorphins are released from the brain during exercise. Endorphins stimulate the area of the brain that makes us feel happy, which is where the phrase “runner’s high” comes from. (6) So see ladies and gents, exercising is something to be happy about 🙂
BENEFITS ON THE SOUL
Our physical appearance plays a significant role in the views and thoughts we have about ourselves. Being unhappy with one’s weight can lead to harsh self-criticism and negative self-esteem. We tend to critique our bodies, finding “imperfections” that probably go unnoticed by everyone but ourselves. I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion. There have been times that I’ve decided not to buy a certain outfit because I wasn’t comfortable with how a certain part of my body looked at the time. This type of thinking only leads to other self-limiting beliefs that keep you from being your best-self.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve our physical self, especially if it’s of benefit to your health. Remember to appreciate yourself for the unique individual you were created to be. Don’t compare your physical appearance against someone else because we are all in different phases of life. You only have one body in life, so fill it with good food, positive thoughts, and make sure to keep it moving!!