In order to have a happy and healthy life, you have to work on your lifestyle. While it would be amazing to download an app that changes our life for the better, that is impossible, and you have to make some effort. A healthy lifestyle is a combination of a well-balanced and fitness along with healthy sleep pattern, avoiding alcohol, and stress management.
A common misconception is that it’s enough to work on just one or two of these factors and experience tremendous benefits. For instance, some people make diet tweaks but overlook fitness entirely. The new year is almost here, and one of your resolutions is to focus on a healthy lifestyle. Here are some important reasons why you should introduce fitness into your life.
We don’t exercise enough…
Some people have an active lifestyle while others exercise occasionally or not at all. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Also, only one in three adults achieves the recommended amount of physical activity within a week. More than 80% of the US adults don’t meet aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise guidelines just like 80% of teens.
…and obesity rates in the US reached all-time high
Due to consumption of unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle, rates of overweight and obesity have risen significantly in the US. In fact, they reached all-time high according to the latest report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their figures show that about four in ten US adults have a BMI that classifies them as obese. Shockingly, adult obesity rates have increased from 30.5% in 1999-2000 to 39.6% in 2015-16.
Fitness aids weight management
Overweight and obesity increase the risk of different diseases and health conditions. Excess weight has a negative effect on quality of life. Makes you more susceptible to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It’s more likely to develop arthritis, and so much more. A growing body of evidence confirms that physical activity is vital for weight management.
One study analyzed the efficacy of aerobic exercise on weight loss. Results found that weight loss from baseline to 10 months for 400 and 600kcal/session groups were 4.9kg and 5.6kg while people in control group (no aerobic activity) gained weight.
As men age, their testosterone levels decrease. This process is accelerated by many factors including a sedentary lifestyle. Symptoms associated with low testosterone include weak sex drive, fat accumulation, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, hair loss, and many others.
On the other hand, fitness increases production of this much-needed hormone, thus preventing all these symptoms. Fitness might protect you from health conditions contributed by hormonal imbalance. For instance, a study of the Mechanisms of Ageing and Development found that strength training can induce growth hormone and testosterone increase in men regardless of their age.
Lack of sleep, busy lifestyle, too many things to do but not enough time… These are just some of many factors that cause stress. When left unresolved, stress creates numerous problems. Can lead to low energy, lack of productivity, and it contributes to many other problems such as anxiety, depression.
Stress can also aggravate symptoms of some health condition you may have. Fitness proves to be an amazing way to alleviate stress and get some much-needed relaxation.
Plus, the Journal of the Osteopathic Association published a study which found that workouts in a group setting have a more favorable effect on stress reduction and quality of life than individual training sessions. This is an amazing reason to start working out with your friends.
You’ll sleep better
Modern lifestyle and sleep deprivation seem to go hand in hand, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Lack of sleep depletes your energy, makes it difficult for you to function at work and school. Also contributes to weight gain, and it affects cognitive functioning.
Introduce fitness into your lifestyle, and you’ll sleep better. The journal Mental Health and Physical Activity found that people who exercise regularly feel less sleepy during the day. Workout helps you sleep better at night. Other studies confirmed that regular physical activity improves quality of sleep in the middle- to older adults with sleep problems.
As seen above, regular physical activity is tied to improved testosterone production. Testosterone is important for your sex drive, which is why the decreased concentration of this hormone causes low libido.
A sedentary lifestyle is a major killer of your sex drive due to its effect on weight gain, hormone levels, and impaired blood flow. A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior revealed that men who exercise regularly experienced greater sexual enhancement.
Not only regular exercise helps increase libido, but it also allows you to perform better between the sheets. See, fitness pays off.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve and maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. Occasional erectile dysfunction is a common problem, but in some men, it can be persistent.
Although can be frustrating for both an affected man and his significant other, this sexual problem is entirely manageable.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine featured a study which found that men with ED could benefit from exercise or any other type of physical activity.
Our cognitive abilities fluctuate just like everything else. Sometimes your memory, focus, problem-solving skills, and other cognitive functions are on “fire”. Though, in other instances, you struggle. That’s because different factors influence your brain health and its functioning, and sedentary lifestyle is one of them. Introducing fitness to your lifestyle will lead to many positive changes and sharp memory is one of them.
Regular exercise is a strong promoter of cognitive health, studies show. Physical activity influences molecular events via epigenetic mechanisms that have the potential to modulate cognitive abilities. Unhealthy lifestyle characteristic for the modern age is the main culprit of obesity. This is also associated with neurological disorders that hamper cognitive function.
According to researchers from the Harvard University, fitness improves your memory in both direct and indirect manner. When it comes to the direct influence of exercise on memory and cognitive skills, physical activity reduces insulin resistance, inflammation, and stimulates the release of growth factors (chemicals that participate in brain cells’ health). Exercise also promotes the growth of new blood vessels in your brain and production of new brain cells.
The indirect impact of exercise on brain and memory is through its ability to improve sleep and mood. Sleep deprivation and stress/anxiety negatively affect cognitive abilities. We can say that fitness takes an all-around approach toward sharper memory.
Even though most people don’t like to exercise, fitness is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. As seen throughout this article, fitness is necessary for weight management, memory, sexual performance, testosterone, sleep, and many other things.
In order to get the maximum out of your daily workouts, you should pair it with a well-balanced diet. Remember, any kind of activity is better than no activity at all. Your fitness routine should involve something you’re passionate about because you’re more likely to stick to it this way.
He has been a Health & Fitness Advisor for Consumer Health Digest. He loves to write about General Health & Fitness topics. Will also believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers and constantly motivates them to achieve their goals. He is also passionate about traveling, arts and discovers and writes for people.
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