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Exercise: Why Fitness Matters
Being fit improves your health.
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:
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.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Horowitz, Diane, MD
Online Medical Reviewer:
Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Date Last Reviewed:
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