Love. Live. Eat.

10 Reasons Why You Need to Stay Fit

Gisele Yoga

In order to be healthy and vibrant we need to have a solid diet and exercise regimen. We can’t just eat whatever we want and workout to negate it. Rather, you need to eat well and exercise. There is a reason you think of fruits and vegetables as well as being active when the New Year comes around or when you need to “detox” after a vacation. It is because that is what our bodies crave in order to function optimally. I compiled 10 reasons why it is important to keep active. Hopefully they will come to mind the next time you are too lazy to get off the couch!

1. Happy Heart

Every day, the approximately 10 pints of blood in your body travel many times through about 60,000 miles of blood vessels that branch and cross, linking the cells of our organs and body parts. Our heart is the key muscle in this system, responsible for moving blood throughout the body. In order to keep our heart healthy, we must exercise it regularly. Try incorporating interval training the next time you go for a run or hit the treadmill. You should be doing both steady state cardio (i.e. running for 45 minutes), and interval training (i.e. sprinting for 45 seconds and recuperating for 30 seconds then repeating 5-10 times) during your cardio sessions.

2. Healthier Sense of Well Being

We all want to look and feel our best, don’t we? When we exercise we get a surge of endorphins, the feel good hormones and natural stress and pain fighters. Exercise is a natural prescription for anxiety and depression.

3. Better Body Image

Staying in your best shape also helps your body image. When you are able to look in the mirror and like who is looking back at you, you preform better in the workplace, have more self-confidence, and are more fun to be around.

4. Improved Body Composition

A healthy body composition doesn’t just make you look good in clothes, but it also has several benefits for your well-being. Exercise reduces visceral fat and increases lean muscle mass. Visceral fat is the “dangerous” fat that surrounds our organs, and is linked to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Not only will you be healthier, but you will look better too!

6. It’s Fun

Who doesn’t need a little fun in their life? There are countless ways to get moving, I’m sure you can find something that intrigues you. You can make it social by exercising with friends, family or by meeting new friends. Or, just enjoy that much needed solo time. The important thing is to get out there and do it, whatever it may be.

7. Increased Energy

Are you too tired to exercise? Believe it or not, exercising will increase your energy. Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily life.

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8. Better Sleep

Exercise can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. There’s not much more to it than that! Just don’t exercise too late in the evening, otherwise, it will have the opposite effect. 

9. Superior Sex Life

Sometimes sex is the last thing on our minds, especially when we’re feeling down on ourselves. One way to turn that frown upside down and turn up the heat in the bedroom is to increase your activity level. Women who exercise regularly can experience enhanced arousal. Whereas men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

10. Enhanced Immune System

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, well same goes for exercise. It promotes circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

References:
The benefits of physical activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html. Accessed July 2, 2013.
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed July 2, 2013.
Armstrong S, et al. Social connectedness, self-esteem, and depression symptomatology among collegiate athletes versus nonathletes. Journal of American College Health. 2009;57:521.
Peterson DM. Overview of the benefits and risks of exercise. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 2, 2013.
Hannan JL, et al. Beneficial impact of exercise and obesity interventions on erectile function and its risk factors. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2009;6(suppl 3):254.
Hamilton LD, et al. The roles of testosterone and alpha-amylase in exercise-induced sexual arousal in women. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2008;5:845.
Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 2, 2013.
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