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BATON ROUGE, LA – According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is defined as “the quality or state of being fit.”

“Fitness is basically physical well-being, which is two parts, I like to look at it as intake as well as output,” said Dr. Zackary Bruce, an internist at the Baton Rouge Clinic. “It helps us live a longer and productive life. It also helps cut down on the obesity epidemic. Currently in America, about one-third of adults have a BMI over 30, which is considered obese, and it also helps us maintain our activity.”

It can also help your heart. According to the American Heart Association, the general exercise recommendations for men and women are 30 minutes of cardiovascular training at least 5 days a week, but Dr. Bruce said fitness isn’t just about exercise.

“I think when you look at fitness. You take in not only the excerise portion, but also, you have to look at the intake,” said Dr. Bruce. “So you can’t really produce good results, if you’re not taking in good things. When you look at physical wellness, I think you should incorporate not only what you’re taking in, but also what you’re putting out.”

There are definitely some benefits.

“I guess, I’d like to start from head to toe, but it really does help with sleep patterns. It also helps prevent anxiety and depression and treat some of those conditions,” explained Dr. Bruce. “It also helps our cardiovascular system maintain itself. It also helps us prevent cancer, as well. It also helps us maintain our livelihood.”

Dr. Bruce said when exercising, don’t be afraid to mix it up.

“I encourage people to really try different things because it’s always the treadmill or the elliptical or weights. I really encourage people to try something different, such as martial arts, swimming or anything that’s outdoorsy, such as canoeing or hiking that may be a little bit different than what you’re used to,” concluded Dr. Bruce.

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