“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” ~John F. Kennedy
For many of us, finding the time and effort to exercise seems about as likely as a simple walk into Mordor. All Tolkien references aside, staying in shape is hard. Not only do we have to find the motivation to actually make our bodies suffer through a light jog or weight routine, we also have to set aside time out of an already busy day. Coupled with the ease of access to unhealthy foods, it is no wonder the United States leads the world in obesity. But, I digress. Despite these difficulties, it is vitally important we find a way to open the door to exercise in our lives for more reasons than one.
Physically fit people are happier. Numerous studies and scholarly research has shown those who are more active and physically fit tend to live happier lives. Endorphins are released when one exercises, leaving the individual happier and more relaxed. Furthermore, when one regularly works out their self-esteem increases exponentially. Furthermore, there is the sense of accomplishment one receives from completing a workout that is hard to compare to. The factors ( as well as many others) make the case for why striving for a state of constant physical fitness leads to a more satisfying outlook on the world.
Physically fit individuals live longer. Another common sense point, that I’m sure is backed up by a number of studies. Besides, do you think the Highlander would have lasted as long he did without an intense training schedule? Me neither. While there are sure to be exceptions to this rule, as no amount of exercise can save us from getting hit by a bus or struck by lightning, the fact remains that taking care of one’s health greatly increases life expectancy. Until we find the legendary Fountain of Youth or manage to create the mythical Philosopher’s Stone it is the best method out there for prolonging the limited time we have in this life.
Pursuing physical fitness increases our focus. In a world constantly bombarded by distractions, one of the most difficult challenges we face is a lack of focus. While it might seem counter intuitive to add another obligation to our already busy schedules, doing so actually assists in improving our ability to direct attention to all the elements within our lives. The happiness and relaxed state we feel give us the ability to overcome the stress and distractions that would otherwise impede our focus on the goals set out before us. Furthermore, when our health is in a good state we are able to dedicate resources often times caught up in combating preventable ailments to other more lofty professional and personal aspirations. Like catching up on one’s favorite blog for example.
There are plenty of reasons why maintaining physical fitness in one’s life is important. Happiness, a long life, and finding a greater level of focus all increase the level of our contentment. While perhaps the most obvious of doors we should make an effort to open, it is most often times the one easiest to ignore. The key is starting slow. Finding an activity that promotes one’s health and is also enjoyable. For some, maybe it’s training for a marathon. While for others, it may be as simple as taking a walk around the neighborhood every night after work. Whatever it may be, the secret to success lies in persistence. Continually striving to engage in an action that better’s one’s health will lead to a world of possibilities once thought impossible. Besides, it is impossible to become a Jedi if one can’t even manage to run a mile.