What is physical fitness?
Healthy living and Physical Fitness are closely connected. You generally need one to gain the other. Physical Fitness is achieved through healthy living, through correct nutrition, rest and exercise. Generally, you are physically fit when you can function effectively and efficiently on a daily basis, whether at work, at home and while enjoying leisure activities.
Most standard definitions of Physical Fitness break it down to five components:
This measures your ability to endure moderately vigorous physical activity over a certain period of time; evaluating your heart and lungs’ ability to pump your body with enough oxygen at that time. You can improve your endurance by undertaking sustained activities such as swimming, walking and bicycling.
Flexibility determines your muscular elasticity and the suppleness of your joints, your stretching and bending capabilities. It is what helps prevent injury while you are exercising, playing sports or even during a fall, and it can be improved through regular stretching exercises as well as swimming.
How strong are your muscles? Strength is assessed through, for example, your ability to lift something heavy effortlessly. You can however have strong arm muscles but weak leg or back muscles. To develop Muscular Strength you can enjoy an activity that requires resistance, such as weights or stairs.
Your muscles have strong endurance capabilities when they can sustain an activity, or hold a certain position, for a period of time, without getting tired. Endurance is built through cardiorespiratory activities such as walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, or even dancing.
It is the proportion of fat in your body weight in relation to that of bone and muscle.
Mental, Social and Emotional Health
Most will agree that our mental state, social condition and emotional wellbeing are all related to our physical health. For example, and there are much more, when you are stressed out at work or at home, you find yourself getting tired easily, you may develop stomach aches or rashes.
There is no body that is exactly the same as another, and each individual’s physical needs are different than the next. It all depends on the kind of life we lead and what it involves. However different the components are, we should all be Physically Fit to our personalized level in order to live the best life we can.
How can we improve our Physical Fitness?
Even though you function well on a daily basis and never complain about stress, pain, or anything else, it does not necessarily mean that you are as fit as you can be. A physically inactive lifestyle is fine, but you will reach a stage where your body is going to start complaining to you with some creaks or screeches. By making exercise a regular part of your everyday life, you can avoid reaching that stage.
What are the benefits of a regular Physical Fitness program?
Exercise, in all its forms, pumps blood into the heart, lowers resting heart level, improves cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure and reduces fat. It also helps improve your mental and emotional states, thus your overall wellbeing.
- Builds energy level
- Relaxes and reduces stress
- Helps improve our sleep pattern
- Improves our self image
- Facilitates weight loss
- Helps us age better
- Prevents chronic health conditions
At the most, you want to be fit and you want to live a long and healthy life. If you cannot set your own Physical Fitness program, there are specialists that can help you assess your body and adapt a plan that will focus on your specific needs.