Updated: Feb 21, 2019
It is a familiar argument that regular exercise improves health and fitness and this remains one of the key motivations for starting any new fitness regime.
As a general rule health can be defined in this context as a state of complete mental, physical and social well-being, rather than the absence of illness or infirmity, while fitness is seen as the ability to meet the demands of the person’s environment - i.e. how to deal effectively with the life a person leads.
I am a strong advocate of the helpful social element that is central to fitness training. Being a member of a sports club and regularly participating in sport has been demonstrated to develop inter-personal skills, the ability to compete or meet physical and mental challenges and to grow an appreciation of the aesthetic.
Participation in a fit lifestyle, particularly with others, is good for all those who take part in it!
Apart from that, simply to exist and to live a fully functioning life requires a certain level of fitness. Exercise programmes with a focus on a healthy lifestyle can also improve those factors important to sportspeople, such as cardiovascular fitness (the ability to exercise the whole body for long periods of time - otherwise known as stamina), muscular strength (the amount of force a muscle can exert against resistance), muscular endurance (using muscles repeatedly without feeling tired) and flexibility (the range of movement possible at a joint).