Benefits of a Health & Fitness Lifestyle
By Lt. Col. Edward Jones, 117th Medical Group
/ Published September 26, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Habits are difficult to change. There are people that will never be able to adopt a more disciplined approach to life due to a lack of resolve and desire.
New USAF fitness standards have certainly created a need for many of us to make changes in our diets and levels of exercise activity. Even without these career considerations pursuing a healthy lifestyle increases an individual's chance to reach retirement age and enjoy many asymptomatic and fully functional years. Being more dedicated to a proper diet and sensible exercise earlier in life will increase the chance that in the latter years you will not face restricted activities and chronic disease. Even modest levels of exercise and dietary restraint will decrease the chances of heart disease, stroke, Type II Diabetes, obesity, back pain and osteoporosis. The development of a disease state is due to many factors and individuals vary in their susceptibilities but it makes sense to control what you can control.
An additional benefit to pursuing wellness is psychological. People that exercise experience a release of endorphins in their central nervous system. This improves mood and promotes a sense of well-being. The physical activity will help a person cope with stress and ward off depression and anxiety.
Any exercise program should be carefully considered. Individualized regimens will decrease the chance of orthopedic injuries or exceeding a person's capacity causing other medical problems. Physician consultation and screening prior to the start of a program is recommended.