Physical fitness is related to the optimal physiological conditions of the body, which involves performance of the heart and lungs, and the muscles. Many connect physical fitness with the maintenance and improvement of their physical appearance. However, what we do with our bodies also affects what we can do with our minds, thus physical fitness can improve not only body health but also mental health. On the one hand, as we all know, exercises not only improve muscle and strength but also strengthen bones and reduce body fat.
Regular physical activity has always been credited with increasing physical fitness. But it is said that what affects our physical selves affects our psychological and emotional selves as well, and that physical activity enhances both mental and physical fitness. Since your brain is part of your body, your physical fitness affects the effectiveness of the operation of your brain. Being physically fit allows blood flow to effectively reach the various muscles in your body, as well as your brain.
If you are in good physical shape, more oxygen and nutrients are supplied to the brain to allow it to work effectively. Furthermore, there are many benefits of physical fitness like endurance, good figure, muscular strength, and flexibility. In fact, physical fitness also introduces mental benefits, including a positive attitude, high self-esteem, and the production of endorphins, which act as a mood regulator and painkiller. Regular physical activity improves one’s ability to tolerate stress and is beneficial to have a good rest.
Regular physical activities, like running or walking, taking the stairs over the elevator, bicycling or even weight-lifting reduce heart disease and risk of cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Meditation and yoga, though more nontraditional, also help to use the body to achieve optimal levels of mental health. Yoga participants often feel more centered and calm, along with the physical benefits of stretching and building strength.
On the other hand, there are many cases in which people are overusing exercises, and to look better in appearance they use steroids or anabolics. This becomes a serious drawback because it sometimes leads people to be unhealthy. There are also many cases in which physical health does not come with mental health. The case of Stephen Hawking, who has no physical fitness and is a profoundly disable man though one of the greatest physicist that human kind has and one of the brightest minds in the world.
Moreover, there are many intellectuals who have mental fitness but no physical fitness at all; that is to say, people who are overweight or too thin. In my opinion, mental fitness means not only being intellectually capable, as it was mention above, but also being mentally healthy, free from stress, anxiety or depresion. Exercises are practice to have a good physical appearence though many just do exercises just to feel good with themselves. It is easy to see how exercise is not only beneficial for the body but for emotional and mental health as well.