Fitness: Getting and Staying Active (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Why Should You Be More Active?
No matter what your size or shape, being active:
Your heart will thank you
The more active you are, the better your heart works. You're less likely to get many of the diseases that can shorten your life, including:
If you already have any of these problems, staying active may help you to have better control over them, feel better, and live longer.
Your body will thank you
Being fit includes keeping your muscles, bones, and joints as active and healthy as possible.
Stretching will help you stay flexible and coordinated. As you become more flexible, you will find it easier to reach things on high shelves, to look under a bed, or perhaps to tie your shoes. You will also have a better sense of balance and coordination.
Your bathroom scale will thank you
Being more active burns calories. That can help you get to and stay at a healthy weight.
When you exercise regularly, your body burns more calories even when you're resting. Being active may also lower your percentage of body fat and increase muscle strength and tone.
To find out how many calories you burn during different activities, use this Interactive Tool: How Many Calories Did You Burn?.
You'll thank yourself
The best thing about being active and fit is a better quality of life. You're able to do things you enjoy for longer periods of time, like playing with children, gardening, dancing, or walking.
Children, pregnant women, and older adults can also benefit from being fit.
Check with your doctor
Moderate activity is safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before becoming more active.
If you are at risk for or have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other chronic conditions, your doctor may want to help you build an exercise plan(What is a PDF document?) matched to your needs. He or she may want to do tests before you start a plan. Or he or she may want you to be more careful and watch for injuries or other problems.
Sometimes doctors automatically schedule routine heart tests because they think that's what patients expect. But experts say that routine heart tests can be a waste of time and money. For more information, see Heart Tests: When Do You Need Them?
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