Five Reasons To Get Fit Now Starting on the path to physical fitness can seem like an insurmountable task, but obesity rates continue to rise and nearly 27% of the Canadian population are now categorised as obese. Being overweight is often the catalyst to a plethora of physical and mental health problems, but it is never too late to take that all important first step on the path to fitness. There are lots of quick and easy ways to build exercise into your daily routine. Sometimes we all need an extra push, so take these four reasons to get fit as motivation to get off the couch and get that heart pumping. Reduce belly fat Not all unhealthy people are overweight and vice versa; even those who look outwardly slim can be carrying hidden fat. The most dangerous fat (known as subcutaneous fat) accumulates inside the body and causes most problems when stored in the stomach area . Here it can put pressure on the internal organs and lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes; even some types of cancer can be prevented by regular exercise. Feel calm and contented Regular exercise can increase a person’s ability to relax but it can also ease the symptoms of mental health issues and make it easier for people to cope. Neural growth and new positive pathways are changes in the brain stimulated by the heart pumping blood around the body faster. Energising, mood-lifting chemicals called endorphins are released into the system. Focusing on the physical activity (rather than on unhelpful thoughts) can also act as a distraction to lessen anxiety. Make every day a little easier Being obese can make everyday tasks a struggle. Lifting, bending and even climbing the stairs are all more difficult when faced with shortness of breath and lack of flexibility. Muscles also have memory so practising repetitive movements, as well as strengthening the core and learning to bend and stretch safely will make household and workplace chores a doddle. If you're struggling to get started, try a low impact, relaxing form of exercise such as yoga or Pilates, which have the additional benefits of increased flexibility and easing painful joint problems or injuries. Bedtime benefits Good quality sleep can slow the ageing process, promote good mental health, consolidate memories and aid concentration. The good news is that exercise makes getting to sleep and falling into a deep sleep much easier. There’s also a good chance of an increased libido. Exercise can improve sex lives too thanks to increased blood flow and mood-lifting chemicals. Make new friends Taking a regular class or joining a sports club is a great place to meet people. Team sports are especially good for forming new bonds and socialising. You may also want to see if your community center offers exercise classes, so you can get connected with like-minded people from your area. Making the initial move is often the most difficult part of getting fit, yet with so many benefits to physical fitness, it’s time to take that step to a happier, healthier life. About the Author: Sally Phillips is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.