It is hard to believe that health and fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry when only about one fifth of Americans meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and strength training physical activity. Does this mean that exercising is expensive? No, there are entire workout programs designed using only body weight exercises. Health conscious individuals can actually save money by exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Being physically fit has numerous effects such as a higher quality of life, increased wellness, and increased confidence in one’s self.
A higher quality of life means living longer, having energy at the end of the day, and making fewer trips to the doctor’s office. As fitness levels increase, the signs of aging and fatigue begin to decrease, proving that cells regenerate at a faster pace when they are used. As individuals begin to exercise, their body adapts and becomes more efficient under physical stress. This means that his/her daily life starts to become easier and pretty soon they do not need that midday coffee break. Although a longer life is very beneficial, what would be the point if it came with the side effects listed on the label of prescriptions that doctors are so eager to give everyone that comes in their office? The good news is that exercise and a healthy diet also aid the immune system to help fight off disease and distress.
The mind needs to be exercised, as well as the body, in order to maintain balance. Mental fatigue can lead to mood swings, anger, and depression. An increase in wellness is an increase in health and awareness of both mind and body. Exercise requires the use of eustress or “good stress” on the mind and body as a whole. As the stress levels rise, the body and mind adapt and learn to handle the excessive load together. The mind will then get “stronger” and the effects of daily stress caused by work, personal relationships, and responsibilities become manageable. Having a wellness balance will also increase sex drive, improve sleep habits, and make every aspect life more enjoyable.
From giving a speech to breaking a record, confidence is a major factor in everyday life. Confidence can be a huge factor in your life from sports performance to public speaking to stressful situations like a zombie apocalypse. Professional athletes need confidence to perform under pressure. Politicians need that same confidence in themselves to lie to millions of people at a time. If zombies take over, self-confidence and mobility will become key factors in survival. In this situation, a person needs to be confident that they can make great decisions and not second guess themselves. Exercise transforms the body into an efficient weapon to tackle many different situations and also makes the mind think clearly under pressure. When a person knows their body can tackle any challenge and their mind can process information under great stress, confidence will come in great amounts.
These effects of being physically fit can change the lives of those who are willing to push themselves to get what they want. I personally do not know of any disadvantages to being physically fit and I cannot understand why people choose to be lazy and unhealthy. Imagine if there was a pill that was proven to increase longevity, strength, energy, lean muscle mass, appearance, wellness, peace of mind, quality of sleep, and mental clarity. Pharmaceutical companies would generate ridiculous profits, no matter how expensive they priced the product. Exercise will do all of these things for free. The only problem is that it requires actual effort, hard work, and dedication by the individuals that want to enjoy the benefits. Higher quality of life, increased wellness, and increased confidence are simply byproducts of being physically fit.
ACSM Certified Fitness Professional