No matter what your
size or shape, being active:
- Makes you feel better.
- Helps you fall asleep and sleep well.
- Gives you more energy.
- Helps you think better and faster.
- Helps you handle stress.
- Makes you healthier.
- Helps you live longer.
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
If you already have any of these problems,
staying active may help you to have better control over them, feel better, and
Your body will thank you
Being fit includes keeping your
muscles, bones, and joints as active and healthy as possible.
Lifting weights-even small ones-is a good way to make
your muscles stronger. It also increases
bone density, which is especially important for older
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.
pregnant women, and older adults can also benefit from
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
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?