Fitness has been shown to be the most important lifestyle factor for good health. Many health experts believe increasing physical activity and exercise is an almost magic elixir for improved well being.

Yet, despite the proven health and psychological benefits of increased fitness, a large percentage of the population does not get a sufficient level of physical activity for optimum health.

If fitness and exercise are so important to our health, why don’t more people get adequate amounts of physical activity?

Six reasons are often suggested:

  • Past bad experiences with exercise
  • Lack of energy or being tired
  • Not enough time available
  • Worried about getting hurt
  • Bad weather, lack sidewalks, neighborhood not safe
  • Concerned about feeling self-conscious

Sadly, these concerns get in the way of the most valuable thing people can do to improve their health — increasing their fitness through increased physical activity and exercise.

Another roadblock to fitness is people believing that exercise is critically important to weight management. People begin a weight loss program which includes exercise and, when it doesn’t work, they stop and lose out on all of the benefits (which doesn’t included weight loss) of increased fitness.

Finally, people often overestimate the amount of physical activity which is necessary for a level of fitness that improves health. Research studies have now demonstrated that a majority of the health benefits of increased fitness come from only a moderate increase in physical activity.

What’s need is a more accurate understanding of the impact of fitness on health and the best methods to increase physical activity and exercise without it being a burden.

As contributor to the Better Kids Institute, I plan to write a series of articles about fitness that I hope will provide real help to parents. I will be discussing the reasons why fitness is so good for everyone’s health and offer advice that is not based on scientific truths rather than myths.

Allen Oelschlaeger ( is known for his no-nonsense and passionate approach to sharing his expertise on weight loss, nutrition and fitness and is the creator of the B.I.T.E. method for effortless weight management. Allen has degrees in biology and pharmacy and was an executive in the medical industry for over 20 years.