Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 Interesting Health & Fitness Facts

Like the saying goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Luckily for you teens, you still have plenty of years ahead. But why wait until you’re older to worry about your health? Take advantage of your youth while you’ve still got it. Below are 10 interesting facts about health and fitness.

1. Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. According to WebMD.com, "Regular activity strengthens your heart muscle; lowers blood pressure; increases "good" cholesterol and lowers "bad" cholesterol. Regular activity also enhances blood flow; and helps your heart function more efficiently. All of these benefits can reduce the risk of not only heart disease, but also of strokes and high blood pressure."

2. Fitness consists of four components: Your body's ability to use oxygen as a source of energy, which translates into cardiovascular fitness; muscular strength and endurance; flexibility; and body composition (Discovery Health).

3. Reported on MedicineNet.com, only 19 percent of all high school students are physically active for 20 minutes or more, five days a week, in physical education classes.

4. According to About.com, "Adolescents need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day to stay healthy." Benefits of those 60 minutes include:
• Reduced anxiety, stress, and depression
• Improved self-esteem
• Boosts academic performance
• Helps establish lifelong healthy habits

5. Did you know that eating colored foods have surprising health benefits? It’s true. Aside from being high in vitamin A, leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, etc.) are also a good source of calcium. If you don’t eat dairy, be sure to load up on deeply colored greens to get enough of the essential mineral (Diabetes Forecast Magazine).

6. Certified trainer David Atkinson has stated that, “Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function.” Having trouble with homework? Take a short break, try running in place or jumping rope for a few minutes, then try your homework again. Did it do the trick?

7. Daily consumption of water (at least 8 glasses) helps you lose weight by reducing your appetite, increasing your metabolism and washing down fat breakdown byproducts (Livestrong.com).

8. Reported by Overweightteen.com, "The percentage of children and adolescents who are defined as overweight has more than doubled since the early 1970s."

9. Having a support system can greatly enhance your fitness levels. Whether it’s a friend you exercise with daily or someone you check in with weekly regarding your physical activity, having support holds you accountable and makes you more inclined to work consistently and/or harder.

10. Lastly, physical activity along with good eating habits increases your chances of living a longer life. If for no other reason than this, health and fitness should be a vital component of your every day life.

Did you learn something new? Hopefully you did, and hopefully it was this: it is our own responsibility to take care of our health. Don’t wait before it’s too late!

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