Enjoying the Benefits of Physical Fitness

Fitness is a term used to describe the physical condition of one’s body. To be “fit” is to be in good physical shape. Millions of Americans, as well as people all over the world are enjoying the benefits of physical fitness every day, such as improved energy, a longer life expectancy and reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis.

New scientific studies are emerging which have determined that a lack of physical activity can be just as detrimental to your health as many other factors that can lead to a heart attack, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking. Approximately 250,000 American deaths each year have been linked to a lack of physical activity.

Besides the obvious benefits to your health due to exercise such as increased energy and weight loss, an improvement in physical fitness can lead to better blood circulation, healthier joints and bones, as well as substantially lowering your blood pressure.

For many Americans, the most strenuous activity done on a particular day is walking from the parking lot to work, or from your car to your house. There are many simple things you can do to improve your physical fitness on a daily basis that don’t involve working out for three to five hours every week at the gym. A good place to start is simply by walking more. Resolve to walk every place that’s five blocks away or less. If you work on the third story of a building, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Cancel your dog-walking service; spend time with your pets yourself. Speaking of spending time, take your family out on group physical activities. Go for a bike ride in the evening, make one day per the week the family “TV turn-off night” and do something outside that requires physical movement, such as playing volleyball, playing catch, going for a walk, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, rent canoes and travel across the lake.

Once you’ve started doing regular physical fitness-boosting activities, don’t overdo it. Remember to consult your physician before embarking on any physical fitness activities if it’s been a while. Don’t go on fitness “binges”, but strive to make physical fitness a daily part of your routine, just as much as brushing your teeth or taking a shower is. You will reap the benefits in a thousand ways!

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