Why it pays to be fit

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woman jumping into air on beach

Isn’t it easier to just sit on a couch and watch television than to go outside and run? Isn’t it easier to just lay around lazily than doing some calisthenic exercises such as push ups and sit ups in your living room?

Of course it is! What kind of silly question is that, right?

The downside? Sitting around and doing nothing to help get that blood flowing is damaging to your body. But to make matters worse, it is also damaging to your mind, potential and current relationships, happiness, and success as well.

a man and woman doing one armed push ups

How does it pay to be fit for your body?

As research has proven, being fit pays off greatly. Regular exercise helps us lose weight, increases blood and oxygen flow, strengthen bones, and builds muscles.

By exercising, you breathe more deeply and efficiently, bringing more air in with each breath. Your heart also pumps stronger and faster in order to keep up with your physical activity. During workouts, your heart is also getting its exercise and becoming stronger and more efficient in the process. After regularly exercising for some time, it will still pump stronger than for someone who isn’t physically active while at rest. Its strong but slower pumps allows blood to circulate throughout your body without overexerting itself. Your body will prosper from the blood that carries oxygen as well as electrolytes, vitamins and nutrients that feeds your cells due to the increased blood flow.

Man and woman jogging on Brooklyn Bridge
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With healthier and stronger cells, your body is able to fight off bugs quicker, repair it self faster and be overall efficient.

Working out regularly can also minimize certain degenerative disease like osteoporosis, as it can reduce the rate of bone loss. It can minimize arthritis as it increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. As you get older, it can improve your quality of life. Plus the energy boost that you get from doing regular physical activity can not be beat!

Think of our bodies like you would a car. Take care of the car, the car will last a lifetime. Take care of your body, it will also last.

Of course there are things that can happen even if you take care of your body, such as a genetic disease that you have inherited however, by doing the best you can for your body by keeping it fit, it will still reap multiple benefits.

How does it pay to be fit for your mind?

Research has suggested that being fit pays off by improving your memory, boosting thinking skills, and encouraging your brain to continue to develop and grow brain cells as you age. Why is it able to do this? Because of the increased blood and oxygen flow. Just like with the rest of your body, your brain is an organ with tons of cells that crave blood and oxygen.

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An interesting research from UCLA has demonstrated that exercise increased growth factors in the brain—making it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections. And coupled with continual learning, you can create new brain cells a process called neurogenesis. It also causes an increase of production of certain neurotransmitters and hormones that positively affect your mind and body.

[Related: My journey into self-care]

How does it pay to be fit for your happiness?

Being fit pays off for your happiness through the hormones and neurotransmitters released during and after your workout. Some of these hormones and neurotransmitters are endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Here is a break down on how these affect your mood.

Smiling man in office with beard and has a sticker on his head that says be happy.
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  • Endorphins: Is a coping hormone that helps us deal with pain or stress. They give you the high feeling you get after you workout, as if you are on cloud nine. They act as a pain reliever and happiness booster.
  • Serotonin: This one is believed to help regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. It has been shown that low serotonin levels are linked to depression.
  • Dopamine: Influences mood, sleep, memory, learning, concentration, and motor control and increases feelings of euphoria, bliss, motivation, and concentration.

How does it pay to be fit for your relationships?

Typically, you will feel better about yourself through exercising. In time, it also causes your overall daily mood to get better which will affect how others see you. Since I started to work out, I have become more positive and that positive energy has attracted other positive people. I have met other motivated individuals and have joined two intimate support groups. One group is with my real estate agency. After joining the health group, I have gotten closer to the other agents at my office and even my broker. The other group is on Facebook. This small group that I manage, has only 5 people in it and we are learning so much about one another as we push each other to be better. So being fit pays when it comes to creating new relationships and connections.

Man and woman on track field doing a one armed plank while performing a high five with each other.
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If you have kids, being fit helps you keep up with them! I used to be very lethargic before working out regularly and couldn’t keep up with my young son. Also, since I suffered from depression and anxiety, there were times that I just shut down. All of that sucked. I had to do something, so I started to exercise daily for 30 minutes a day for 30 days. Man has there been such an improvement! Not only has my mood improved through working out but my energy spiked. I was able to go out and do things with him on a regular basis which has brought us closer.

The added benefit? Since he watches me workout regularly, it has encouraged him to be healthier and even work out with me sometimes. Another bonding moment.

How does it pay to be fit for your success?

With all that you have read thus far, you should be able to see how it can help people be successful. With the added strength, stamina, and energy, you will be able to keep up with what you need to get done. The increased focus allows you will to zero on the tasks at hand and learn the skills that you need to grow. And being a bubble of positivity, you will attract those who can uplift you and who you can also uplift.

Team at work giving each other a pound.
Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Being fit pays in multiple ways so try it. Try working out for 20 minutes a day for 30 days. On the rest days, do something like yoga or pilates. I would wager that you will see a change in yourself that you have never expected.

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