Created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows.

Why is Physical Activity & Fitness Important?

Would you like to:

  • Decrease your risk of disease?
  • Feel better physically and mentally?
  • Look better?
  • Help avoid injuries?
  • Keep doing activities you enjoy throughout your life?

Regular physical activity will help you do these things. Physical activity is essential to prevent and reduce risks of many diseases and improve physical and mental health. It can even help you live longer—research from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine indicates that regular exercise can add up to five years to your life.

Physical activity also keeps you in shape so you can enjoy leisure activities and safely perform work and home chores. It offers great mental and social benefits as well. The Lancet released a series of studies that attribute positive outcomes to physical activity, including “a sense of purpose and value, a better quality of life, improved sleep, and reduced stress, as well as stronger relationships and social connectedness.”

On the other hand, lack of physical activity is associated with increased risks of:

  • Anxiety, stress, and feelings of depression
  • Developing many preventable conditions, such as high blood pressure, coronary heart diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, and obesity
  • Dying prematurely

The authors of the Lancet studies even suggest that the sedentary lifestyle so common in our culture is more deadly than smoking. They also believe that 6-10% of the world’s non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer) are caused by physical inactivity.

12 important reasons to be physically active

1. Be healthier

2. Increase your chances of living longer

3. Feel better about yourself

4. Reduce the chance of becoming depressed

5. Sleep better at night

6. Look good

7. Be in shape

8. Get around better

9. Have stronger muscles and bones

10. Achieve or maintain a healthy weight

11. Be with friends or meet new people

12. Have fun

Physical activity reduces risk for eight conditions

According to the Centers for Disease Control, exercise can reduce your risk of:

Fitness for kids

Regular physical exercise is important for younger generations too, especially with the rise of obesity in children. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and social discrimination are just a few of the possible consequences of a childhood spent in front of the television or the internet. Check out Let's Move! for nutrition and fitness tips for children.

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