7 Important Reasons to Be Fit and Healthy ...

New research surrounding the reasons to be fit are always coming to light. Being healthy and fit is a passion of mine because up until recently, it wasn't a real priority! There is a significant difference in your overall wellness as an individual when fitness is a priority. Healthy living is so vital for a prolonged and happy life, which is why it's important to explore and understand the benefits of being in shape! Here are 7 reasons to be fit...

1. It Keeps Your Heart Happy

Your heart is an amazing muscle - probably the most vital muscle in our entire body! It's responsible for delivering oxygenated blood throughout the body. When you're active and increasing your heart rate, it causes the heart to work harder, therefore making it more efficient over time. One of the most important reasons to be fit is cardiovascular health, especially for women because it drastically reduces the risk of heart disease. According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US. Yikes!

2. Strong Muscles and Joints

Part of being in shape means having strong muscles and joints, which lower the risk of injury. Everything we do requires muscle movement! Strength training with targeted exercises, tones and builds lean muscle, making our bodies more efficient in burning calories. Strong muscles produce healthy joints because it's muscle contractions that allow our joints to move properly. This also means less impact on our joints because those muscles are able to engage more during movements.

3. Stamina

As you build up your stamina through regular exercise, your ability to sustain higher intensity workouts improves! I know for me, a key factor in staying fit is to be able to "stand the heat" of moderate to intense activity with friends and family. How much more enjoyable is it to be able to keep up with others on a long hike or bike ride, without being totally out of breath? Being fit makes our physical experiences fun instead of exhausting and stressful!

4. Lowers Risk of Obesity

Obesity is an epidemic in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, over one third of the adults in the US are obese. Our bodies were designed to move through physical activity. Because of the way our culture is, careers are often fairly sedentary which can produce an exhausted and foggy state. The lack of physical activity combined with overeating, leads to obesity and obesity related illnesses. Let's kick this disease to the curb get our bodies moving and hearts pumping!

5. Fights Depression

Lack of physical fitness can also fuel depression and anxiety. Without that boost of energy and rush of endorphins that exercise brings, our mind drags. Set the tone for your day by grabbing those running shoes and hitting the pavement!

6. Boosts Your Self-Confidence

Don't we all feel better about ourselves after a challenging gym session?! I know I do! Keeping fit by dedicating consistent time to working out not only helps you feel better about yourself, but after some time, you can also physically see results from your hard work and dedication! The physical results are part of the mental dedication to live a healthy life - what a confidence boost!

7. Improves Mental Clarity

Being fit is total body wellness, it seeps into every aspect of our lives-our diligence, physical and mental strength, flexibility, endurance, our love life, our ability to rest well, to eat well and to focus. All of these aspects of being fit causes our minds to clear out the negative and reach into the positive! And there you have mental clarity.

A lot of the battle in reaching our goals of fitness is mental! Convince yourself that if you can think it, you can do it! The hardest part about working out is getting out the door. So remember the reasons to be fit and set them as a priority! Your body will thank you. What are some of your reasons to be fit?