Fitness Can Save Your Life

Being physically active can literally save your life! Being fit can affect every aspect of your life – not just your physical health, but your emotional and mental well being, too. Only 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity for 5 days out of the week can help you become physically fit. Fitness relates to physical activity. Fitness is not just a trim or muscular body or a 10K runner. I like to think of fitness as the key for optimal health and overall well being.

Many times fitness professionals are frustrated with clients who want to be fit, but don’t take the required actions. Many people think that by taking a pill or ordering a gadget seen on an infomercial will do the trick and they will become fit. How many of you have exercise equipment hiding in closet or under the bed and use your treadmill as a clothes hanger? Having the equipment alone won’t help you become physically fit. You have to use it. Physical fitness doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not a quick fix. Looking like the models on TV selling exercise equipment is not practical for most people. Getting fit is not that easy. On the other hand, it’s not that hard. Understanding the benefits of being fit, feeling the benefits, and seeing the benefits keep us motivated and consistent.

Here are some of the health benefits that can save your life. Physical activity has a direct effect on the heart. It increases oxygen supply to the heart, decreases oxygen demands and improves the strength of the heart muscle contractions. Exercise lowers blood pressure. Exercise significantly improves blood sugar levels; which is important if you have type 2 diabetes or if you have a family history of diabetes.

Well-respected research shows that compared with active people, sedentary people have almost double the risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease. This is critically important as heart disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. The New England Medical Journal states in a study of over 84,000 middle-aged women, who exercised moderately or vigorously for 30 minutes a day slashed their risk of heart disease by 80% (these women did not smoke cigarettes, were not overweight, and maintained a healthful diet).

Here are some tips to get you started.

• Get a physical exam before beginning any exercise program.
• Find activities you enjoy doing each day.
• Start slowly. Don’t expect fitness results to happen overnight.
• Follow a progressive program of exercise. Hire a personal trainer to help you with motivation, coaching, or to learn how to exercise properly.
• Invite a friend, spouse or family member to join you.
• Set realistic goals and measure your results in 3 month intervals.
• Don’t stop if you aren’t getting the results you except. If you stop, you will never get the results. Results aren’t just how you look, it’s how you feel and your level of health.
• Think of exercise as adding quality months and years onto your life.