Our culture is so focused on looking good. I don't need to give much explanation about how inundated we are with messages to be beautiful--women and men, both. Certainly looking "good" is a benefit to staying fit. But for me personally, that is just the icing on the cake. For me, the best reasons to stay fit include, but are not limited to:

Simply having more energy to get through the day--well. Before we reach for the 5th cup of coffee, we may want to consider what else we might do to give ourselves more of a natural boost. Contrary to how it may seem, when you expend energy, you create more energy. That's probably true about many things in life. But I know for a fact that getting a workout in will eventually help you get through your day with more alertness, focus, calm, and a boosted mood.

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Preventing heart disease. Heart disease is still the number one killer of Americans. Because it's so common, many seem to have just succumbed to the notion that it's inevitable and even equate heart disease with getting older. But, studies show heart disease is a direct result of not getting exercise, having a poor diet, and yes a small part due to genes. But if you're predisposed to heart disease, that's even more of a reason to get moving, under your doctor's supervision, of course.

Keeps the stress levels manageable. When I'm not working out, I quite literally feel like a different person. My tolerance level for buffering the inevitable mishaps of the day is abysmal. Many of us are tempted to simply find the right pill to help us, and in some cases that's a great idea. BUT, even doctors say exercise may be one of the very best stress management tools out there. And it doesn't have to cost a penny.

Longevity. No need to explain much here. Prolonging life is always preferable in most situations, would you agree?

Brain function. Another biggie here. When we exercise, our cognitive abilities improve. All that extra oxygen flowing through your body makes a big difference.

So yes, it's great to look fantastic--enjoy that perk. But, I would suggest the other benefits far outweigh it.