The benefits of physical fitness, especially in a person over 40, are extremely important for long-term health and well-being. As we grow older so do our bodies, at the cellular level. This is the reason our skin sags, gets darker and develops cellulite. The benefits of physical fitness include being able to hold back the hands of time. Well, not literally of course! Exercise will build muscle and strength that often deteriorates as we age. This will allow you to move more easily, accomplish daily tasks and delay the pain and discomfort from arthritis.
People who exercise also find that they are able to lose those unwanted pounds more quickly and with less effort. This is accomplished because exercise burns calories and if you don’t replace those calories you’ll lose weight. You’ll also lose body fat.
Other benefits of physical fitness include decreasing the risk of high blood pressure or reducing high blood pressure. Between the weight loss and the chemicals that are released during exercise you have a decreased risk of developing high blood pressure and a greater chance of reducing blood pressure that may already be elevated.
A connected illness with high blood pressure is heart disease. Often those who suffer from high blood pressure also have some degree of heart disease. The benefit of physical exercise is that it will decrease your risk of developing or dying from heart disease.
Another condition that is linked with high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and diabetes is high cholesterol. One of the benefits of physical fitness is to reduce your risk of high cholesterol, no matter your diet or genetics. By reducing your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease you also reduce your risk of premature death.
Not only will physical fitness decrease your risk of physical illness but also of mental distress and stress related illnesses. For instance, a benefit of physical fitness is to reduce your risk of depression and anxiety. You’ll spend less money on anti-depressants and improve your psychological well-being and work, recreation and sports performance.
The benefits of physical fitness are different for aerobic exercise vs strength training. While aerobic exercise will improve your ability to use and transport oxygen, increase blood supply to the muscles and improve glucose tolerance strength training increases muscle strength, improves flexibility, balance and coordination.
The benefits to physical fitness are numerous. Our bodies were designed for motion and movement. Without that movement we suffer the consequences of stress related illness, and age related conditions.
MayoClinic: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The Benefits of Physical Activity
Seconds Count: Top Ten Benefits of rEgular Physical Activity
Harvard School of Medicine: The Benefits of Physical Activity
Idea Health and Fitness Association: The 25 Most Significant Health Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise