Lifetime fitness is a commitment. It is the belief that keeping our minds and bodies healthy is more than just a noble idea; it requires definite actions that need to be taken on a regular basis. It is making conscious decisions that must be executed to ensure our lifetime goal. Lifetime health and fitness is a commitment to a lifestyle change to live a happier and healthier life.
Since the turn of the century, the average life span in the United States has increased markedly from 47 years old in 1900 to 77.3 years old at the turn of the century. While the rapid developments in new medical technology and medicine can be credited with most of the increases, a lack of commitment to lifetime fitness means that a majority of these people did not enjoy happy, healthy lifestyles.
Sadly, 33 percent of high school students across the country do not participate in the recommended amount of lifetime health and fitness activities as outlined by the Surgeon General and the President's Council on Physical Fitness. This lack of activity in fitness programs often carries into adulthood, where the number of people without lifetime exercise and fitness program increases.
According to a lifetime fitness report by the National Institute on Aging, only 58 percent of the American population engages in a lifetime fitness program that involves leisure time vigorous activity and of those people, only 26 percent do so three or more times a week as part of their lifetime fitness program.
So how does a lifetime exercise and fitness program improve your quality of life?
The Center for Disease Control lists the following top five annual causes of death in the United States.
* Heart disease: 696,947 deaths
* Cancer: 557,271 deaths
* Stroke: 162,672 deaths
* Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,816 deaths
* Accidents (unintentional injuries): 106,742 deaths
With the exception of accidental deaths, all other leading forms of death could have been avoided or delayed with a lifetime health and fitness program that included exercise, a healthy diet, and non-smoking.
When a lifetime health and fitness program includes a diet that low in cholesterol, a significant reduction in the build up of fatty deposits called plaque is noticeable in the arteries. If too much plaque forms in the arteries, they become clogged, reducing the amount of blood and oxygen that circulate to the coronary arteries, and can ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke.
A healthy lifetime fitness program should never include cigarette smoking. Smoking has been linked to cancer, chronic respiratory problems, and cancer.
In 1986, Shirechiyo Izumi of Japan died at the age of 120 years, 237 days. What kind of lifetime fitness commitment do you think Izumi had?