It’s all common sense really, fitness is about being able to do the things we want to do, when we want to do them, and for as long as we want to. So being fit should be a necessity of life, not just an option and we should learn to look after our health, because as the years go by good health will help us enjoy today’s increase in longevity. The medical and physical benefits of keeping fit are improved circulation, digestion and a stronger heart. Exercise builds strong muscles and bones, increases our flexibility and co-ordination, and combined with a well-balanced diet, exercise helps control weight and improves shape. By making the best of ourselves we will experience a sense of well-being, feel relaxed and be more confident in our lives.
Our individual level of fitness will depend on our personal lifestyle and the interest and commitment we have to looking after our health. And the good news is that for those people who get it right, there may be a decrease of some physical ability in their 60, others later, and some, not at all! Many individuals enter advanced old age still performing at the level of younger adults. Just half an hour of moderate physical activity five times a week can help, and significantly improve our health and wellbeing. Fitness work-outs, brisk
Walking, dancing, gardening and other sports that make us feel warm and slightly out of breath are the most beneficial. The trick is to do an activity that gives you pleasure and you will soon discover that being active actually boosts your energy levels. When we exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins which give us a ‘ feel-good ’ factor, as the circulation gets going, improving our heart and lung efficiency. Being fit and more active helps us feel better, improves both our mood and our brain function, how we think and feel.
Being active can also reduce our risk of many common health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, depression and, best news of all, dementia. Of course there may be some bodily changes with age, but good habits will benefit us as the years roll past. So take the time to make the effort, and enjoy many more years of active life. “If you don’t use it, you may lose it” applies to both body and mind!