Fitness is a condition of physical health and well being and, more specifically, your ability to do basic parts of daily activities, occupations, and sports. To some extent, we all already possess some form of physical fitness. Most people can walk, jog, climb stairs, or dance a few steps. However, for those who have little or no self-esteem, poor health or disabilities that affect their mobility, or simply want to get fit and healthy, there are many options for getting healthy and fit.
Fitness should not be seen as a specific set of physical exercises that you must do on a daily basis. It is much more. Practicing fitness requires you to think of yourself as being healthy on a daily basis, of being strong physically, mentally and emotionally. Proper nutrition, regular physical activity, and enough rest are some things that you should incorporate into your lifestyle in order to reach your fitness goals.
Cardiovascular fitness is defined as your ability to effectively manage and improve your breathing while exercising. The components of cardiovascular fitness include your total metabolic rate, your pulse rate, your blood pressure, and your functional level of your muscular strength. Some other components of cardiovascular fitness include your total resting heart rate, your maximum oxygen consumption, your time it takes to complete a one-minute treadmill run, and your maximum exertion level during an exercise bout. In addition, your muscular endurance refers to your ability to maintain the maximal amount of muscular force throughout a bout of physical activity. Muscular endurance also includes, how long it takes you to recover from exertional strain (such as lifting a weight) and how quickly you can complete the exercise bout after returning from it.
Strength-and-endurance, otherwise known as functional capacity, is the ability of your muscles to withstand exertional (i.e., exercise bout) stress under the condition that you maintain your balance, proper form, and proper movement. Additionally, muscle power (the ability to cause maximum force during a movement) and the force that you need to cause the maximum amount of muscular force during an exercise bout both contribute to your strength-and-endurance ratings. The components of muscular power that you need to focus on include your speed, your power, your acceleration, and your deceleration. Another component of strength-and-endurance that should be evaluated and included in your fitness regimen is your muscular endurance.
Your level of fitness affects many aspects of your life. You will be more productive in your job if you are physically fit and have high energy levels. Similarly, you will feel better emotionally if you are physically fit and your immune system is in good shape. Therefore, it may make sense to invest some of your fitness capital into enrolling in a formal fitness program that teaches you how to get more out of your daily activities and help you improve your health and your life. You may want to consider enrolling in a class that instructs you in the basics of resistance training or some other form of functional training (e.g., stretching).
As you can see from this main article, exercise can play a valuable role in improving your general wellbeing and maintaining optimal health. But please be careful when starting any new fitness routine – the first step is always the hardest! Be sure to consult with your primary care physician before embarking on any new exercise regimen. And please stay active!