KIMBy Kim Duke

Your body is your most important investment in life, and fortunately, it is something you have control over. So often an injury or health scare is what will get you thinking of a better health and fitness regimen.

Why wait for that injury/health crisis to occur? Start now and minimize the risk of problems in the future.

In most of my articles I stress consistency. Exercise and proper nutrition is not something you should have to fit in to your lifestyle — it should be your lifestyle.

A healthy body sets the stage for your day-to-day well-being and how well you will age. Maintaining fitness through good nutrition and exercise promotes efficient circulation, digestion and musculoskeletal strength. This allows you to live an active life, and a healthy immune system helps you ward off disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy body benefits extend to mood elevation and greater mental alertness, as well as reduced chronic disease risk.

When you keep your metabolism working well, you enjoy greater energy and fewer aches and pains. Adequate vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, fatty acids and carbohydrates are needed to facilitate all of your body processes.

Nightly rest periods allow your body to repair cells and perform other maintenance activities. A sleep or dietary deficiency can deprive your body of these essentials and create fatigue.

Getting enough nutrition, on the other hand, leaves you mentally and physically sharp. Regular exercise utilizes your healthy bones, muscles, heart and lungs, preparing them to meet daily demands.

When your body reaches a consistent plateau of health, it is more likely to hold up under unusual stress and less likely to give way to infection. A daily fitness program that incorporates aerobic exercise and strengthening of the bones and major muscle groups helps you avoid pulled muscles, joint sprains and bone fractures.

Along with a diet rich in vitamin C, restful sleep supports your immune system. The National Sleep Foundation reports that you are less susceptible to colds and flu if you don’t have a sleep deficit, especially if you are an older adult.

Staying fit means less downtime and more time moving and burning calories to help maintain your weight.

According to the American Heart Association, 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week will help to balance your calorie intake from an average healthy diet. Eating low-fat foods that have strong vitamin, mineral and fiber content will help you control your weight as they encourage a healthy cardiovascular system.

There are so many excellent reasons to be fit and healthy, and I truly cannot think of one reason the alternative is a better choice for anyone. Fitness programs can be as simple as walking and as vigorous as a cross-fit workout. Whatever gets your body moving, right?

Nike has the right motto, “Just Do It!” Your body will thank you for it.