Fitness is essential in all areas of life and especially in physical fitness. It pertains to a state or condition of being capable of doing things without risking injury or harm. As the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Physical fitness, therefore, is a state of overall health and well being and, more importantly, the capacity to do different kinds of activities, jobs and sports without getting tired. Physical fitness is normally achieved through regular moderate-vigorous exercise, proper nutrition and enough rest.
It has been found that the degree of physical activity is directly related to the degree of fitness. For example, those who engage in light aerobics exercises have better fitness levels than those who engage in extreme sports activities. It is for this reason, exercise is recommended for everyone, regardless of age and fitness level. It is important to do some form of regular exercise to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and to remain fit. This promotes good health and can prevent a number of diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, high blood pressure and certain forms of cancer.
In terms of exercise, the two major factors that determine fitness are intensity and duration. The high intensity and long duration activities are more effective in building and improving endurance, while low intensity and short duration activities are more effective in building muscle mass and improving cardiovascular fitness. A mix of these types of activities, for the most part, will provide the body with the total fitness needed for the individual.
The other factor that impacts one’s fitness level is nutrition. Proper nutrition not only influences the muscle mass and overall strength, but it also influences many other aspects of the body. A diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins ensures optimal levels of energy, digestion and the production of hormones. Proper nutrition is an integral part of any healthy lifestyle and the importance of regular exercise is no exception. The best way to ensure that you get all the nutrients you need is by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Try to avoid sugar, salt, and processed foods as much as possible.
Another important factor in a healthy lifestyle is regular physical activity. While walking or jogging won’t give you a superior workout compared to lifting weights, it does improve your overall health because it increases your heart rate, strengthens your muscles and improves your bone density. Regular physical activity also helps you avoid becoming obese, which has its own health consequences. While fitness means losing weight, it also means maintaining the proper body weight.
Finally, exercising regularly also increases your endurance and improves your muscle tone and mass. While a person who is sedentary may seem fit, he or she is most likely not using enough muscle in their bodies and is therefore at risk for developing poor muscle tone and mass. Therefore, when fitness refers to muscle-to-body mass ratio, it is important to concentrate on exercises that engage large groups of muscles and use the large muscle fibers.