Fitness, its necessity and tips to improve fitness
Fitness is a broader term and everybody defines fitness as per his/her understanding. Some says, a regular gym going person is fit and some says, not being over weight is fitness etc. But if I have to explain it in nutshell fitness includes 5 essential components i.e. body composition, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance.
- Body Composition refers to the percentage of fat, bone, muscle and organ mass in one’s body. (ex: Two people who are the exact height and weight but look completely different.)
- Flexibility is the range of motion possible at a joint.
- Muscular Strength is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert force.
- Muscular Endurance is the muscle’s ability to perform an activity without fatigue.
- Cardiovascular Endurance relates to the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to the body during sustained physical activity.
Total fitness can be defined by how well the body performs in each one of the components of physical fitness as a whole. E.g. It is not enough to be able to bench press, you also need to determine how well you can handle running a Kilometer etc.
However, fitness does not only include a person’s physical health but also encompasses the entire mind and body. Fitness includes an individual’s mental and emotional state of being and social well-being.
Why Fitness is necessary?
- Exercises and good eating habits make your bones solid and improves your heart and lungs, and makes your muscles strong.
- New research shows that exercises during the teen years (beginning at age 12) can help protect girls from breast cancer when they are older
- Fitness may help you to fight with high blood pressure, Obesity, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease. If you already have one of these diseases, you may be able to better control it if you are fit. There are numerous advantages of fitness of mind and body which I will cover in other article that why fitness is necessary.
How can I make some healthy changes and get motivated for fitness?
It is not easy to change eating and exercise habits. A first step is to decide that health and fitness are important to you can motivate you to achieve fitness. There can be end number of reasons like you are over-weight; want to gain self confidence; want to look smart etc. You have to set targets and surely you must have a reason for that which will ultimately push you to do it yourself.
Well, let me share my reason it may help you in choosing yours motivational reason. I went with my girl-friend at a mountain tracking trip and after 400 mtrs climbing I got tired and she was giving her hand me to support which actually pinched me and in addition to that she was telling about the professional guide with us. He was having a fit body and was climbing like superman. At that point I noticed that my girlfriend is emotionally attached with me but physically inclined towards other person who is having a good physique or fit body. I told her that next time we will come and I will take you to peek and that was my reason of motivation. And I did that.
I guess I don’t have to say anything after this. So, before its too late, choose your motivation reason today, be focused and stick to that.
Once you find any inspiration, motivation or a reason to be fit, then it will be easier for you to make time in your day to prepare healthy foods and exercise regularly.
Tips to improve eating habits:
- Choose a variety of foods from all the food groups including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low fat milk products, and lean meats.
- Choose foods that are high in fiber (fruit, vegetables, whole grains). Limit foods that are high in fat and sodium. Use herbs and spices to add extra flavor to foods.
- Learn to say “no” to second servings when you are not actually hungry and have snacks only when you are hungry.
- Pay attention to the foods in restaurants as fried foods have more fat than baked or boiled foods. Order for salad and margarine “on the side” so you can use smaller amounts.
- Try to include Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3/6) as these are vital in keeping a person fit
- Protein is an important building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood so intake of Protein rich diet on daily basis is important. It also helps in reducing fat.
- Include fatty foods tin diet but only as an occasional treat.
- Make it a habit to read food labels to help you learn about portion sizes, calories, fat, sodium, and fiber in various foods.
- Manage daily food diary to keep you alert on your food intake and its type.
- Define targets for making changes and don’t forget to pat yourself for achieving even small changes.
Tips to improve exercise habits:
- Do Anulom Vilom, Pranayam, on regular basis which are the common yoga exercises. These yoga exercises have numerous health benefits so try to include these in your daily routine.
- If you are 40 plus and having some medical history, consult your doctor before you start exercising.
- Choose comfortable shoes that fit well.
- Find an exercise partner (if you choose), and stick to a regular time to exercise.
- If you are over-weight, hire a professional for a good Fat loss program
- Plan for indoor exercise on “bad weather” days.
- Try to “sneak in” extra activity.
- Walk the stairs instead of using the elevator
- Take a few minutes more to walk at the mall after shopping.
- Walk in place or up and down stairs during television commercials
- Keep a daily exercise diary.
- Choose an exercise or activity which gives you fun as it will make you more relaxed and you will enjoy exercise.
- Start out slowly( 5- 10 minutes initially and keep adding 5 minutes every few days until you start burning between 1500 and 2000 calories per week.
What is most important is that you find activities and exercise you like to do and healthy foods you like to eat. This will help you to get started on the road to fitness.
Stay fit. Good Luck… Fitness Rocks…
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