A lifetime of fitness offers many benefits like:
- Decreasing your risk of health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some types of cancer
- Managing your weight
- Helping you sleep better
- Preventing or relieving stress, depression, and back problems
- Boosting your energy
You need to continue exercising to keep these benefits. Your main goal is to make fitness a lifetime commitment. Build a fitness plan that you can stick with. Choose activities you like. Go slowly, especially when just starting out. Work up to being active 30 minutes on most days. Aim for a total of 150 or more minutes a week.
Why be fit?
People who are physically fit:
- Are more alert and productive
- Have more energy, both physically and mentally
- Handle stress better
- Sleep better
- Are less prone to injury
Check your health first
If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you should talk to your healthcare provider before starting a fitness program:
- Has a healthcare provider ever said you have heart trouble?
- Do you ever have chest pains?
- Do you often feel faint or have dizzy spells?
- Has a provider ever said your blood pressure is too high?
- Has a provider ever said that you have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by exercise?
- Do you take any prescription medicines for problems such as diabetes or asthma?
- Talking with your provider before beginning a new exercise program is a good idea for anyone.
Will I lose weight?
Many of us would like to lose or keep off a few pounds. Being more active each day and building muscle can help. Here’s how:
- Being active burns calories. You burn nearly twice as many calories just walking slowly as you do sitting.
- Muscle burns more calories than fat. So the more muscle you build up from activity, the more calories you burn.
- If you add more muscle, you’ll use more calories even when you’re not being active.
- Being active helps you keep more muscle as you age. More muscle means it will be easier to control your weight.