Fitness: Getting and Staying Active
Why Should You Be More Active?
No matter what your size or shape, being active:
- Makes you feel better.
- Helps you fall asleep and sleep well.
- Gives you more energy.
- Helps you think better and faster.
- Helps you handle stress.
- Makes you healthier.
- Helps you live longer.
Your health will thank you
The more active you are, the better your heart works. You're less likely to get many of the diseases that can shorten your life, including:
- Coronary artery disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Some cancers.
If you already have any of these problems, staying active may help you to have better control over them, feel better, and live longer.
Your body will thank you
Being fit includes keeping your muscles, bones, and joints as active and healthy as possible. You can:
- Reference Make your muscles stronger. Lifting weights—even small ones—is a good way to do this. Weights also increase Reference bone density Opens New Window, which is especially important for older adults.Reference 1
- Stay flexible and coordinated. Reference Stretching Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window will help you do this. As you become more flexible, you will find it easier to reach things on high shelves, look under a bed, or perhaps tie your shoes. You will also have a better sense of balance and coordination.
Your bathroom scale will thank you
Being more active burns calories. That can help you get to and stay at a healthy weight. Getting regular exercise:
- Helps your body burn more calories even when you're resting.
- May lower your Reference percentage of body fat and increase muscle strength and tone.
To find out how many calories you burn during different activities, use this Reference Interactive Tool: How Many Calories Did You Burn? Reference
One Man's Story:
"My doctor said, 'It's about time you lose weight.' That's when I got my bike."—Bob
You'll thank yourself
The best thing about being active and fit is a better quality of life. You're able to do things you enjoy for longer periods of time, like playing with children, gardening, dancing, or walking.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 12, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Heather Chambliss, PhD - Exercise Science