Why is fitness so important? 

In England’s adult population, 64.3% are either overweight or obese.

Shocking, right? And yet over 80% of the same population does not participate in fitness activity for more than 150 minutes a week.

One hundred and fifty minutes is the equivalent of two gym sessions a week, or a Monday night spent at a football club; hardly unachievable. Physical activity is an essential for everyone, with its numerous benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity:

  • Controls weight
  • Reduces the likelihood of health conditions and diseases
  • Improves general mood
  • Promotes better sleep

Perhaps the most important aspect of fitness activity is the social advantages. I developed a friendship group when I first picked up the badminton racket in Year 7, and over four years on, we continue to spend countless enjoyable hours playing the game. Rohan Amte, one of the people from this group, said:

Badminton has given me access to another social life and many new friendships. I particularly enjoy the friendly rivalries which are also competitive in nature.

What’s more, studies from the Institute of Medicine seem to show that playing sports and taking part in physical activity is strongly correlated with increased mental ability, especially amongst youngsters. A report from them concluded that “children who are more active show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardised academic tests than children who are less active.”

Physical activity has all the things we need to function rolled into one: relief from the stress of our daily routines; improved physical and mental wellbeing; weight control (a popular one!) and the social aspect. Physical activity is a no brainer, and it can be accessed by anyone in our society. So, head down to your local gym, or join a cricket club, because it really never is too late.

by Kinshuk Jain