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Empowerment Gained through Fitness and Wellness
There’s little you could say to dispute the vast benefits of exercise and its ultimate byproduct — wellness. Besides the obvious advantages of physical and mental health, which fitness provides, there is another phenomenon that is produced, that of being empowered.
Listing the many perks of physical fitness, you quickly discover how physical fitness leads also to the fitness of the mind and self image. In addition, weight loss is also a indirect benefit of physical fitness, which also benefits a positive attitude about yourself. And with that empowerment comes endless possibilities. Let’s look at some of the assets fitness and wellness create:
A More Intuned Mind
One benefit of physical fitness is that the mind also improves. Exercise releases endorphins, hormones that play a role in keeping the brain healthy. When these are at optimal levels, these chemicals improve brain function and physical performance. They also improve areas like sleep, movement, mood, attention and learning. Conversely, leading a stagnant, non-active life can lead to premature age-related health problems, such as dementia, and this can occur if we don’t take the time to keep our mind youthful through healthy exercise.
Better Self Image
Raised self-esteem and confidence in your appearance are also benefits to keeping a fit body. A fit and healthy individual shines in how you look, how you treat others, and the pleasure you take in going about your daily activities. Feeling good translates into spreading that positive attitude around you, and when you exude confidence and feel great about yourself, good things happen.
Peace of Mind
When your body is in tip-top shape, you are ready to deal with whatever comes along. The peace of mind that come as a benefit of physical fitness is a priceless possession. Not only do you have peace in the way you look, but you also are content with the fact that you have done everything you can to maintain wellness, and reduce your risk of disease. The benefits seen from adding just 20 minutes of exercise to your daily routine are unbelievable. You’ll experience an increase in energy, one of the greatest benefits of a fit body.
Weight Loss/Healthy Weight
Often the catalyst our bodies need to boost weight loss into high gear is exercise. Exercise also decreases our hunger pangs, increases our fluid intake, and helps our blood to circulate much better. Time taken for physical fitness improves our overall body metabolism, and promotes optimal wellness. Obesity causes a myriad of problems, from disease to sluggishness to low self-esteem. Maintaining a healthy weight puts all of these issues at bay.
Ability to Manage Stress
One benefit of physical fitness is the ability it affords to deal with our stress. We covered some of the hormonal advantages exercise can do for the body. Fitness and wellness can also involve taking time to get a massage, taking a hot bath or practicing some relaxing yoga. Taking the time to relax, do relaxation exercises and integrating this into your fitness routine benefits both your mind and your body. Researchers have found that exercise is likely to reduce depression and anxiety and help you to better manage stress.
The benefits of exercise extend far beyond weight management. Research shows that regular physical activity can help reduce your risk for several diseases and health conditions and improve your overall quality of life. Regular physical activity can help protect you from heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure and improving your blood flow.
By reducing body fat, exercise can help prevent and control diabetes and obesity. If you have back issues, exercise can reduce back pain by increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture. Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging, also called osteoporosis. Finally, running and aerobic exercise have been shown to postpone the development of disability in older adults.
Do it for Life
Keep these health benefits in mind when deciding whether or not to exercise. Fitness forces you to learn new things, which allows our mind to form new neural pathways. We need those neural pathways for the transmission of information from the body to the mind, or with our ability to form new memories. If we don’t exercise the mind, we lose the fitness.
There’s also the added benefit of being able to participate as a productive citizen, well into our retirement years. For many older folks, keeping their bodies and minds fit means that they are also able to continue to interact with their families and in their chosen work profession, as well as continue to enjoy life in general. The benefit of physical fitness, mental fitness and overall wellness is so important to our lives. Don’t neglect these aspects of wellness and fitness.
David Novak’s byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. He’s an avid health enthusiast, and frequently is featured in regional and national health publications. He is also a weekly writer for Healthline. To visit his other stories on Healthline, visit http://www.healthline.com/.