ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Be Fit? Good Reasons to Get into and Stay in Shape for Life

Updated on December 15, 2011

Why Bother to Be Healthy?

Remember that t-shirt, or maybe you have seen it on a car's bumper sticker, it says something like "Eat Healthy, Exercise, and Die Anyway." Well, truer words were never spoken.

If we know nothing else, it is that this life will one day be gone in a flash. So why should we bother to be healthy? Why not drink, party and gorge on Coney dogs and cheesecake at every opportunity?

The obvious answers are; reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious health issues. But what about a better sex life? Sleeping better at night? Being more attractive (which leads to higher self-confidence)?

Oh, you've heard all these before? All right then, I'll offer one more. How about realizing your ultimate potential, both mentally and physically?

Maybe that sounds a little cheesy to you. But if does, ask yourself why. Is it because of the vague, hyperbolic nature of the statement? Fair enough. Let's face it though, without a belief that you can do better mentally and physically, your dreams are dead. When our dreams die, no matter how simple or small, we begin languishing in the mediocrity of our self-imposed status quo.

So why be fit and healthy? Because good health affects your mood, mental productivity and of course a properly functioning body.

The Mind/Body Connection

The connection between the mind and body is well established. Good emotional health empowers a person to deal better with stressful situations and evaluate their own emotions and thoughts with clarity. When major stressors affect our emotional health, it can weaken our immune system, cause increased blood pressure, insomnia and even affect our sex lives.

While we can't always prevent minor and major tragedies from occurring in our lives, we can fight to maintain a healthy balance. One of the best ways to do this is with exercise and a nutritious (and adequate) diet.

Exercise releases endorphins, which improve our mood. It also gives us a sense of accomplishment, another mood booster. We improve our physiques and feel better about ourselves when we exercise (as long there are no injuries!)

We can also work at maintaining a positive outlook by talking out our problems, using relaxation techniques and avoiding abusive behaviors. Our bodies and our minds are one, and when the mind has shed its excess weight, we want to get our bodies up and moving as well.

The Body's Positive Chemicals

Endorphins are neurotransmitters released by the brain in response to stress and pain. Typically they are released through continuous, long-lasting exercise, but can also be stimulated through massage and acupuncture therapy, certain healthy foods and sex.

Although an endorphin 'rush' causes our bodies to feel less pain and stress by interacting with the brain's opiate receptors, it does not lead to addiction.

Catecholamines are chemical compounds such as norepinephrine, dopamine and epinephrine. Although abnormal levels of catecholamines can lead to health complications, including depression, normal levels of these compounds, which can be released through exercise, are correlated with positive mental health.

Lower levels of catecholamines have been linked to obesity in several studies. In one study, epinephrine and norepinephrine values were lower in obese and overweight teenage boys following intense bouts of exercise, leading to the suggestion that depression and obesity may be linked.

Another positive side effect of exercise and good health in general is BDNF, or brain-derived neurotropic factor. BDNF is important for long term memory, and plays a vital role in maintaining existing neurons. BDNF also contributes to the growth of new neurons and synapses.

Low levels of BDNF have may be linked to epilepsy and depression as well. There's that fitness connection again!

Disease and Sports Performance

High incidences of obesity are still on the rise in the United States. While it goes without saying that you won't reach your full potential as any type of athlete if a healthy lifestyle isn't followed, here are some other reasons to stay fit;

Research shows that as we get fatter, our risk of developing the following conditions gets bigger as well:

-Heart disease

-Type II diabetes (the worst kind)

-High blood pressure

-High bad cholesterol

-Various organ diseases, but especially liver and gallbladder complications


-Sleep apnea/breathing problems


-Abnormal menses and infertility

The worst perpetrator of health problems as we gain weight is the visceral fat that clings to the abdominal organs. Research has shown that it releases all kinds of bad stuff into our bodies, and has also been connected to breast cancer and metabolic disturbances.

As we age, it gets harder to decrease or prevent the accumulation of visceral fat, but prevent it we must. In women this is especially important. Decreased estrogen in post-menopausal women may also lead to higher cortisol levels, which in turn encourages abdominal fat accumulation.

Vigorous regular exercise has been shown to be the number one weapon against the negative effects of these changes, for both men and women.

So why be healthy? Why prioritize exercise and nutritious eating? Perhaps this question depends on who you are. Maybe you are a teenager, or someone in their early twenties who dreams of athletic greatness, improved performance in a hobby, or just looking good (take advantage of those young years while they last!)

Maybe you work 50-60 hours a week and have trouble fitting everything in, but want to be able to finish a breast cancer walk, a marathon, or another such endeavor.

You could have dreams to climb mountains, or prefer to sit on the couch and develop websites to exercising. It really doesn't matter who you are. Your life and your goals can be improved by being active and working to realize your full potential. After all, we have been active for tens of thousands of years, but we've only been getting overweight as a society for a few hundred.

Weigh in

Do you have something to add to this article? Would you like to share your personal experiences? Please do! Leave your comments and stories below, we'd love to hear them.

If you enjoyed this hub, please share it with your friends! Thanks!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • MosLadder profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Montgomery 

      7 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Perspycacious, in an ideal world, eh? Maybe if we weren't all human! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Cheers.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      7 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Useful, Awesome, Interesting. Thanks for taking the time. Now, if everybody would just read this and live better, longer, at less health expense!

    • MosLadder profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Montgomery 

      7 years ago from Irvine, CA

      As always, eloquently spoken Derdriu, thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      MosLadder, What an intelligent, persuasive, useful list of the reasons for getting and staying in fit shape! In particular, I like the way you highlight the range of reasons: emotional, mental, physical. This article is of such convenient size that it fits well on a refrigerator or kitchen door when one is tempted to fill one's face with food instead of one's lungs with air.

      Thank you for sharing, etc.,



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)