Fitness means being able to perform physical activity. It also means having the energy and strength to feel better that helps to maintain fitness and have a healthy body.
Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life.
Exercise is useful in preventing any types of disease which can lead our body to be weak. Here are some diseases that cause our body weak:
- Coronary heart disease
An exercise program can improve general health, build endurance, and slow many of the effects of aging. And we know that exercise reduced-calorie diet is the safest and most effective method of weight loss.
Types of exercise
Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise
Aerobic means “with oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen in the body’s metabolic or energy-generating process.
Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is type of exercise which benefits in cardiovascular health that involves or improves oxygen consumption by the body.
There are various types of aerobic exercise. In general, aerobic exercise is one performed at a low to moderate level of intensity over a long period of time.
Example of Aerobic exercise
- Running a long distance at a moderate pace
- Playing tennis
Benefits of doing regular aerobic exercise are:
Stronger heart: the heart muscle is strengthened and enlarged, to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting heart rate.
Improved breathing: the muscles involved in respiration are strengthened, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs.
Improved muscle health: Aerobic exercise stimulates the growth of tiny blood vessels in muscles. This helps our bodies more efficiently deliver oxygen to muscles, can improve overall circulation and reduce blood pressure and remove irritating metabolic waste products such as lactic acid from the muscles.
Weight loss: Combined with a healthy diet and appropriate strength training, aerobic exercise may help lose weight.
Disease reduction: Extra weight is a contributing factor to conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer. As weight loss occurs, the risk of developing these diseases decreases. In addition, weight-bearing aerobic exercise, such as walking, can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and its complications. Low-impact aerobic exercises, such as swimming, cycling and pool exercises, can help keep fit in those who have arthritis, without putting excessive stress on joints.
Improved immune system: People who exercise regularly are less susceptible to minor viral illnesses such as colds and flu. It is possible that aerobic exercise helps activate your immune system and prepares it to fight off infection.
Improved mental health: Regular aerobic exercise releases endorphin’s, our bodies’ natural painkillers. Endorphin’s also reduce stress, depression and anxiety.
Anaerobic exercise is the type of exercise that enhances power and builds muscle mass. Muscles trained under anaerobic conditions develop differently, leading to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities, which last up to about 2 minutes.
The most common form of anaerobic exercise is strength exercise. Strength exercise is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles. There are many different methods of strength training, the most common of which are weight and resistance exercise.
When properly performed, strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being including increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength, toughness and endurance, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury resulting from weak muscles, improved cardiac function and elevated “good” HDL-cholesterol (High-density lipoproteins).
Benefits of exercise
Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. People who lead an active life are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop serious diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Physical activity can ease the symptoms of certain long-term health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).Exercise not only improves your physical health, it also helps to reduce anxiety and lowers your risk of other mental health conditions such as depression.
- Reduce stress
Rough day at the office? Take a walk or head to the gym for a quick workout. One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of nor-epinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So go ahead and get sweaty — working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension.
- Boost happy chemicals
Slogging through a few miles on the ‘mill can be tough, but it’s worth the effort! Exercise releases endorphin’s, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed. In some cases, exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the gym rat type — getting a happy buzz from working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost overall mood.
- Improve self-confidence
On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender, or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of his or her attractiveness, that is, self-worth
- Enjoy the great outdoors.
For an extra boost of self-love, take that workout outside. Exercising in the great outdoors can increase self-esteem even more. Find an outdoor workout that fits your style, whether it’s rock-climbing, hiking, renting a canoe, or just taking a jog in the park.
- Prevent cognitive decline
As aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the noggin actually shrinks, losing many important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45. Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippo-campus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.