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What Is the Connection between Activity and Fitness?

Article Details
  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 June 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Health experts have established a definite connection between activity and fitness. Physical activity not only helps with weight control, but also improves sleep quality and energy levels, reduces stress, and can even lower the risk of certain diseases. In order to improve fitness, however, it is necessary to be active on a regular basis. Health-boosting activities can take a wide array of shapes, from daily visits to the gym and lengthy jogs to less obvious forms such as gardening or playing with one’s children.

According to health experts, the link between activity and fitness is a compelling one. First of all, physical activity burns calories, which can help overweight individuals shed excess pounds and prevent those at a normal weight from gaining unhealthy body fat. In addition, the muscle gained from regular physical activity can raise metabolism, further helping to keep weight in check.

Another important link between activity and fitness relates to mental health and well-being. As physical activity causes the brain to release chemicals which can create feelings of calmness and contentment, those who are regularly active tend to have lower stress levels than those who are not. Further, physical activity boosts the circulation and improves the body’s ability to process oxygen, which in turn can improve one’s energy level. In addition, regular activity can lead to deeper, more restful sleep.

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To many, the most significant facet of the connection between activity and fitness is the potential of physical activity to lower the risk of certain diseases. Regular activity can help control both cholesterol and blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Research has also suggested that a high activity level may help limit one’s chances of developing certain types of cancer as well as type 2 diabetes.

In order to improve fitness through activity, however, it is necessary to be active on a regular basis. For maximum health benefits, fitness experts recommend engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, at least five times per week. This exercise can take the form of conventional workouts, such as jogging or logging time at the gym. Those who do not enjoy such concentrated forms of physical training, however, will be happy to learn that many common activities can constitute exercise. Short bursts of such activities as gardening, playing with one’s children, skipping the elevator in favor of the stairs, and walking to work can easily add up to 30 minutes of daily exercise.

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