A healthy body sets the stage for your day-to-day well-being and how well you will age. Maintaining fitness through good nutrition and exercise promotes efficient circulation, digestion and musculoskeletal strength. This allows you to live an active life, and a healthy immune system helps you ward off disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy body benefits extend to mood elevation and greater mental alertness, as well as reduced chronic disease risk.
When you keep your metabolism working well, you enjoy greater energy and fewer aches and pains. Adequate vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, fatty acids and carbohydrates are needed to facilitate all of your body processes. Nightly rest periods allow your body to repair cells and perform other maintenance activities. A sleep or dietary deficiency can deprive your body of these essentials and create fatigue. Getting enough nutrition, on the other hand, leaves you mentally and physically sharp. Regular exercise utilizes your healthy bones, muscles, heart and lungs, preparing them to meet daily demands.
Reduce Injuries and Infections
When your body reaches a consistent plateau of health, it is more likely to hold up under unusual stress and less likely to give way to infection. A daily fitness program that incorporates aerobic exercise and strengthening of the bones and major muscle groups helps you avoid pulled muscles, joint sprains and bone fractures. Along with a diet rich in vitamin C, restful sleep supports your immune system. The National Sleep Foundation reports that you are less susceptible to colds and flu if you don't have a sleep deficit, especially if you are an older adult.
Staying fit means less downtime and more time moving and burning calories, which helps you maintain your weight. According to the American Heart Association, 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week will help to balance your calorie intake from an average healthy diet. Eating low-fat foods that have strong vitamin, mineral and fiber content will help you control your weight as they encourage a healthy cardiovascular system.
Prevent Chronic Disease
A diet that is low in sodium and solid fats preserves normal blood pressure and arterial health to reduce your risk for heart disease, the number-one cause of death in America. Staying at a healthy body weight also decreases cardiovascular risk, along with the chances for developing type 2 diabetes and many forms of cancer. Because these illnesses form over time, maintaining your physical health over the course of your life is your best shot at prevention.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Benefits of Physical Activity; February 2011
- National Sleep Foundation: Prevention for Cold and Flu; September 2009
- American Heart Association: Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations; May 2010
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Leading Causes of Death; December 2009