Being in good health is a goal for everyone. There are many factors of good health, but how are physical fitness and health related?

Physical fitness is an important health factor for people to consider because it is a component of health that we have control over. Genetics, family history, age and others are components of our health that we cannot change. This is what makes physical fitness so powerful — it’s in your control!

Below are some of the top factors of why physical fitness improves your health.

Lowers your body fat and BMI

Exercising regularly will burn calories which will aid in fat loss. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week to maintain optimal health.

Maintaining a healthy BMI or body fat (10-20% for men and 18-28% for women) has been shown to decrease your risk of heart disease, brain disease, diabetes, among others.

By maintaining a lower body fat percentage, you’ll generally be healthier.

Improves your mood

Physical fitness generally improves the mood of a person, which is helpful for optimal health.

According to the AARP, Studies show that a positive outlook and good mood can prevent declining health as you age and help with stress, pain and illness!

In addition, research has even shown that lifting weights can decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is an important finding considering these two ailments plague many Americans today.

Decreases your chance of injury

When you improve your physical fitness, you strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility — both of which decline as we age.

When your muscles are strong and you are limber in your movements, you can naturally deter injuries from daily activities.

In addition, the tasks of daily life are much more easy to carry out when we are strong and flexible, which indirectly improves our quality of life.

Increases your muscle mass and metabolism

Strength training is a vital component of physical fitness, especially for women.

As we age, our bones lose strength and our muscle mass decreases. This explains why older people tend to move more slowly and more stiffly and may have trouble completing normal daily tasks.

However, strength training increases bone density and muscle mass and is one of the only and best known ways to combat these effects of aging.

Strength training also increases your metabolism which aids in maintaining a healthy body weight.

By staying strong, you can ward of aging and injuries and maintain a healthy BMI — both of which will help you maintain optimal health.

The Bottom Line

Physical fitness is an important component of a person’s health, as outlined above. Although there are many factors of health, some of these — like genetics and age — are factors that are out of our control.

By maintaining and improving our physical fitness a daily basis, we can maintain optimal health.