111 Excellent Reasons for Exercising: Choose Life and Fitness

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

You already know, that fitness is good for you. But not just that. Fitness exercise is fun and it works:
There are all kinds of fitness exercise for both sexes, all ages, all levels and in  many forms; one and one fitness, two and two fitness, group fitness, soft fitness, hard fitness, indoor fitness, outdoor fitness, land fitness, water fitness, cold fitness, hot fitness, bodyweight fitness, equipment fitness, machine fitness.
There are no limits. So there should be no lack of motivation?
However, just in case, here are (not just the usual 10) 111 excellent reasons for doing fitness exercise. 

Fitness and exercise for health, performance and wellness

  1. Improves mood; increases happiness level.
  2. Increases energy level, more mental and physical strength.
  3. Improves sex; increases desire, agility and stamina.
  4. Reduces stress, eases tension short-term and long-term.
  5. Relaxes and calms you.
  6. Energizes you, reduces general fatigue.
  7. Fights depression.
  8. Trains your brain, creates new synapses, ‘nerve cell junctions’.
  9. Prevents cognitive deterioration, e.g. dementia.
  10. Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease (loss of brain function and memory a.o.).
  11. Reduces risk of Parkinson’s disease (slow movements, stiffness and shaking, because of lack of dopamine in the brain).
  12. Reduces neck pain, headaches and migraine.
  13. Improves concentration.
  14. Improves the ability to relax (mind and muscles).
  15. Sharpens your senses.
  16. Increases self-confidence.
  17. Improves self-worth.
  18. Improves creativity, because of more oxygen and clarity.
  19. Increases wellness.
  20. Increases longevity, e.g. strength training is superior for anti-aging.
  21. Prevents age related loss of muscles, maintains muscle mass.
  22. Helps maintain function in old age.
  23. Prevents overweight and obesity.
  24. Helps slimming in the right way; promotes fat loss.
  25. Assists weight maintenance; life long healthy weight.
  26. Improves body composition; better muscle to fat ratio.
  27. Shapes, tones and builds muscles for a better-looking body.
  28. Improves you skin; improved blood circulation and elasticity.
  29. Improves general stamina, mentally and physically.
  30. Improves immune defence (is, however, weakened after exercise, from 8 hours to 3 days, depending on intensity and duration).
  31. Prevents metabolic syndrome; Abdominal fat, insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels).
  32. Prevents and improves hyperlipidemia, too high concentration of cholesterol and triglycerides (fat) in your blood.
  33. Prevents atherosclerosis.
  34. Lowers ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol.
  35. Increases ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol.
  36. Increases blood vessel elasticity.
  37. Reduces the risk of blood clots.
  38. Strengthens your heart; a stronger heart pumps more blood.
  39. Lowers resting heart rate; less wear on the heart and arteries.
  40. Increases the number of capillaries (small blood vessels) resulting in better oxygen supply.
  41. Increases the number of mitochondria (small ‘energy factories in the muscle cells).
  42. Increases work capacity; increased capacity, when the body is under pressure, stress.
  43. Improves metabolic fitness.
  44. Improves cardiovascular fitness.
  45. Increases caloric expenditure during exercise.
  46. Increases caloric expenditure after exercise, afterburn (EPOC).
  47. Increases caloric expenditure during rest.
  48. Increases fat burning during endurance training and improves the ability to conserve energy, glucose, during endurance training.
  49. Improves insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake.
  50. Reduces lactic acid build up during submaximal training.
  51. Improves oxygen uptake.
  52. Strengthens the respiratory muscles; stronger breathing.
  53. Lowers blood pressure (reduces hypertension), which limits wear to the heart and vessels and reduces risk of disease.
  54. Strengthens your muscles.
  55. Improves power (explosive strength).
  56. Improves muscle endurance.
  57. Increases body awareness.
  58. Improves fine and gross motor skills.
  59. Improves coordination, control of arms, legs and core.
  60. Improves coordination of balls and equipment.
  61. Improves timing.
  62. Improves reaction (time).
  63. Improves rhythm.
  64. Improves spacial awareness.
  65. Improves general stability.
  66. Improves static balancing; e.g. standing on your toes.
  67. Improves dynamic balancing; e.g. stair walking or hopping.
  68. Reduces the risk of falling and having an accident, e.g. a fracture.
  69. Improves agility, reaction and quickness.
  70. Improves performance in all sports.
  71. Increases the enjoyment of all recreational activities.
  72. Increases the suppleness of the muscles.
  73. Prevents tightness and limited mobility.
  74. Increases range of motion, ROM, making all movements easier.
  75. Reduces pain, discomfort and disease due to limited ROM.
  76. Improves posture, gives a healthier, stronger, slender look.
  77. Improves sleep quality.
  78. Improves vision; not the lens, but the ability to use the eyes better; focus on things up close and at a distance and peripheral vision.
  79. Provides fresh air (during outdoor activity; preferably in clean air).
  80. Provides time and opportunity for self-development.
  81. Gives new experiences and variety.
  82. Gives something else to talk about than the weather and tv.
  83. You see, hear, feel (touch), smell (and maybe taste) something new.
  84. You have a good time with family and friends.
  85. You meet new friends.
  86. You find a boyfriend or a girlfriend (spouse).
  87. Prevent, cure or relieve type 2-diabetes.
  88. Improve general health and insulin sensitivity in type 1-diabetes.
  89. Prevent certain forms of cancer, fx colon, breast, prostate.
  90. Improves health and resilience during cancer disease.
  91. Prevents and relieves many cardiovascular diseases.
  92. Prevents, cures and improves chance of surviving ischemic heart disease, atherosclerosis.
  93. Prevents and reduces atherosclerosis of the legs (claudicatio intermittens).
  94. Improves the chance of survival and reduces fatigue following heart failure (various conditions).
  95. Improves function, gait, motor skills and tactile function following stroke.
  96. Prevents and cures osteoporosis.
  97. Prevents, cures or relieves many musculoskeletal disorders.
  98. Prevents, cures or relieves back aches or back pain (strengthens, stabilises and moves).
  99. Prevents, reduces or relieves many hip problems.
  100. Prevent, reduces or relieves many knee problems.
  101. Improves resilience and reduces pain of fibromyalgia, diffuse tendon and muscle pain of minimum 3 months duration.
  102. Prevent, reduces or relieves osteoarthritis.
  103. Improves resilience and relieves rheumatoid arthritis.
  104. Improves strength, stamina and insulin sensitivity, health (some evidence), of women with PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (multiple cysts in the ovaries), and related conditions.
  105. Improves function, gait, resilience and quality of life of sclerosis sufferers (disseminated or multiple sclerosis), an autoimmune disease affecting the the brain and nervous system; lack of muscle control, numbness and fatique.
  106. Improves resilience and relieves hypersensitivity (e.g. allergy).
  107. Improves resilience and and quality of life of HIV-infected (no impact on virus or immune system).
  108. Improves stamina, ventilation and quality of life of asthma sufferers.
  109. Prevents, cures or relieves certain mental disorders in different ways, e.g. anxiety and schizophrenia.
  110. Improves stamina and reduces fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome, persistent exhaustion and various symptoms, e.g. fever, muscle pain, headache a.o.
  111. Improves resilience and ventilation, and relieves and reduces fatigue of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease sufferers.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but it is true.

Requirements: It is dream fitness, according to needs and desires (possible following ‘basic training’) and healthy fitness, individually adapted to health, form, physique and goals, e.g. specific in relation to frequency, intensity, time (duration) and type in order to elicit the expected results.

Fitness for all.


Fysisk aktivitet – haandbog om forebyggelse og behandling
Sundhedsstyrelsen (2011)

Pedersen, Bente Klarlund (2003): Recept paa motion – motion som forebyggelse. NNF.

Pedersen, Bente Klarlund (2005): Motion paa recept – motion som behandling. NNF.

Aagaard, Marina (2006): Fitness – i bedre form på kortere tid.

Aagaard, Marina (2012): Fitness og styrketraening – oevelser, programmer og metoder.

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