Only 1 in 10 Americans are eating right. And only 24% of Americans are getting enough exercise. What does that mean for people in the long run?
The U.S., for being as unhealthy as it is, spends more on healthcare than any other high-income country. In an effort to cut down skyrocketing health care costs, fitness enthusiasts and congressmen have developed the PHIT Act.
If you haven’t read any of our previous pieces outlining the details of the PHIT Act, now is a great time to do so.
The PHIT Act provides a tax-break incentive to Americans looking to get fit. Each year, they may be reimbursed for nearly $2,000 as families or $1,000 per single tax-paying income. It’s clear the government wants to put a focus on working out, getting healthy, and providing wellness care to Americans at any age. We’ve got a few reasons why we think exercising is as necessary as traditional healthcare no matter your stage of life.
Read on to find out what we’re talking about.
1. Cardiovascular Health
Working out during 1 session protects and regulates your heart for 3-4 hours. Upping your heart rate helps strengthen it – it is a muscle, after all. If you’re able to engage in HIIT workouts, the increased cardiovascular workout helps to pump up your metabolism for hours even after the workout ends. Increasing your heart rate helps your entire body function properly, and shouldn’t be neglected.
2. Lowers Risk of Obesity
It’s perfectly fine to want to get healthy and fit to look good. Lowering your body’s fat percentage and increasing muscle helps all other bodily functions operate smoothly (like your aforementioned heart). Working out consistently lowers your risk of obesity, which in turn reduces your risk of type II diabetes and heart disease.
3. Increases Endorphins
Have you ever experienced runners high? Felt awesome after a competitive pickup basketball game? This is all due to the fact that working out raises your endorphins – and at any age, we all are looking for a way to make exercising fun. Certain research even shows that endorphins are increased when working out with groups, too.
4. Improves Joint/Bone Health
If you suffer from joint problems, you may think that exercising will only worsen them. Finding the right ways to strengthen, stretch out, and lean out sore or arthritic joints can help them improve drastically. Keep things slow, and low impact, followed by icing to reduce swelling.
5. Minimizes Effects of Anxiety/Depression
Exercise reduces stress and lowers anxiety. Like we mentioned, it’s all linked back to those heart-pumping endorphins. If you suffer from depression, working out regularly helps increase your dopamine levels and frankly feels good.
6. Regulates Sleeping Patterns
If you hit the gym regularly, it not only helps regulate circadian rhythms and helps you stay alert during the day but brings on the sleepytime at night. In a Northwestern University study of adults 55 years old with insomnia, regular exercise drastically improved their sleep patterns.
7. Improves Sexual Health
Yep, we’re going there! Regular exercise improves your mood, your energy levels, and increases your sex drive. The increase in testosterone that goes hand-in-hand with working out is maximized when doing workouts that use a lot of muscle mass, like squatting, deadlifting, and bench-pressing.
8. Reduces Chronic Pain
Persistent pain can eventually attribute to depression, anxiety, and poor sleeping patterns. Are you seeing how all of these parts of your well-being are connected? Working out with chronic pain isn’t easy – but simple, consistent, and light movement like walking, yoga, and light stretching can help flatten out the declining symptoms of chronic pain.
9. Regulates Digestive System
If you struggle with constipation, fear not! Getting the heart pumping, body sweating, and muscles stretching can help your digestive system, too (which is shown to decrease in functionality with age). According to HealthSpan, regular exercise increase “gut flora”, or the good stuff that helps you break down food and nutrients.
10. Immune System Booster
Bettering our immune system becomes more and more important with age. Simple colds that lasted a few days as teens and young adults turn into week-long battles. By engaging in light, physical exercise, it’s proved to strengthen your immune system and help flush out bacteria. Many anticipate studies releasing to show how working out protects against specific illnesses.
Getting fit doesn’t happen after one workout sesh. We encourage you to make these healthy changes in your life… for life. Now that you know the benefits of working out at any age, check out how the PHIT Act could impact these benefits.