Why is personal fitness and exercise important?
Boost your health and energy by getting plenty of exercise
Written by spunout
Fact checked by experts and reviewed by young people.
You don’t need us to remind you that exercise and a healthy diet are going to help raise your fitness levels. However, that’s not the only reason to break into a sweat – here are some other important benefits of exercise and getting into that regular routine:
Why should I exercise?
- Exercise is great for relieving stress AND boosts your overall mental health
- Excercise releases chemicals called endorphins in the brain that are great for boosting your mood
- If you exercise regularly you have more energy to get through the day
- Exercise can also help if you have problems sleeping
- Your muscles and bones will become healthy and strong
- Your self esteem and confidence can increase and it can help maintain a healthy weight
- Taking up a sport is an excellent way to meet new people and have a social life that isn’t just based in the pub
- Overall health – staying fit helps lower the risk of getting a whole range of health problems such as heart disease, adult-onset diabetes, stroke, thrombosis, breast cancer and lots more
What type of exercise should I do?
Physical activity can be anything as long as you are moving. Choose an activity you like and something that will keep your interest for a while or choose a variety of favourite activities to do throughout the week. Check out our article on getting fit without breaking the bank. You can also check out Have Fun Get Fit campaign which has loads of ideas for alternative ways such as trampoling and ultimate frisbee to get fit.
Three main types of physical activity
This includes walking, running, playing team sports (football, basketball, rugby, etc), swimming. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, raises your body temperature therefore making you sweat a little, and increases your rate of breathing. This type of physical activity improves your over all fitness, is best for heart health and weight loss.
This mainly involves weight lifting but also includes things like carrying shopping or school bags, . Weight lifting can help you tone your muscle, lose weight, and build up your muscles. This will help you carry out everyday activities for longer without getting tired, improve the shape of your body and muscles, make your bones and muscles stronger and prevent injury. Some great ways to gain strength are bodyweight exercises, calisthenics and pilates. Remember you should be over 16 before lifting weights.
This includes stretching, yoga, and Tai Chi. Stretching maximises the benefits of weight training and aerobic exercise. It can prevent injuries and back pain in future years, increase the blood flow to your muscles and made them more efficient . Flexibility is important for preventing muscles becoming sore and injured, helping you carry out everyday activities more easily and improving posture. Why not try out some stretching exercises whilst taking a short breather from your studies or during the ads break of your favourite TV programme.
Remember, take it slowly! When you start an exercise programme, start off gently and set yourself short-term goals. Don’t expect miracles and reward yourself for achieving your weekly goals. Take the time to make physical activity a priority in your life.If you don’t look after yourself, who will?
How can exercise improve my health?
Exercising can decrease the risk of:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Adult-onset diabetes
Tips for people who don’t enjoy exercising
- Try to walk as much as possible, avoid taking public transport or lifts where possible
- When you start exercising, don’t push yourself to exhaustion
- Dance on a night out or at home by yourself
- Clean your house, cut the grass or other outdoor activities that break a sweat
- Exercise with a friend or dog by walking
- Take a look at the classes at your local community centre
- Check out YouTube for exercise ideas and tips. Topics covered in YouTube vids range from weight lifting to yoga to salsa.