# Gain More Energy. As you exercise regularly, your entire body becomes more efficient. Your heart begins to pump more blood with each beat and to beat fewer times each minute. Your body develops the ability to make more oxygen available to your cells. That means more energy – greater productivity, more stamina, and less fatigue.
# Feel Good. Exercise makes you feel good, both physically and mentally. It gives you a psychological lift and strengthens your sense of accomplishment. The discipline associated with exercise also makes you feel good about yourself: “I feel good that I walked today,” or “When I run, I feel I have control over one area of my life.”
# Look Good. Regular exercise plays an important role in helping to reduce body fat and weight and to develop muscle. Fitness can give you a better-looking, better-proportioned body: a flatter abdomen, firmer thighs, and slimmer hips.
# Feel Younger. Increasing your activity level can reverse or slow the changes that many people think are simply the unavoidable results of aging. In reality, lack of exercise usually reduces flexibility, strength, blood vessel elasticity, and lung functions; slows reaction time and metabolism; and increases body fat between ages 30 and 60.
# Build A Stronger Heart. Regular exercise may help reduce or modify some of the risk factors associated with heart disease, such as high cholesterol levels, elevated blood pressure, obesity, and stress. A three-year study at the University of Toronto showed that people who exercised regularly after a heart attack had less than a 5 per cent chance of having a second attack, while those who were sedentary had 22 per cent chance.
WHAT IS PHYSICAL FITNESS?
Physical fitness has two extremes: the well-conditioned person at one end and the completely inactive individual at the other. To be well-conditioned, you need to work on the four components of physical fitness: Body Composition, Cardiovascular Fitness, Muscle Fitness, and Flexibility.
# Body Composition: Body composition is the ratio between body fat and muscle. Too much fat and not enough muscle may increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, gout, and arthritis and back problems.
# Cardiovascular Fitness: Cardiovascular fitness is the ability of the heart, blood, and blood vessels to transport oxygen to your muscles. A strong, efficient heart is important for stamina and may lower your risk of heart disease.
# Muscle Fitness: Muscle fitness is the strength, endurance and shape of your muscles. Good muscle fitness helps you maintain good posture; avoid lower back pain; and lift, carry, push, and press any objects. Regular exercise keeps your muscles well developed – an important ingredient in proper body composition. Calisthenic and weight-training exercises improve your muscle fitness. Aerobic exercises also can improve muscle fitness, although to a lesser extent.
# Flexibility: Flexibility is the range of motion possible at the joints of your body. Good flexibility helps you avoid lower back pain, plus joint, neck, shoulder, arm and leg injuries. Calisthenics, stretching exercises and yoga can help maintain or improve flexibility or suppleness.
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