Everyone is asking themselves the question: “What is fitness?” Fitness can mean different things to different people. In general, though, fitness involves the ability to move the body with efficiency and control. As you exercise, the muscles gain strength, endurance, and more energy. The more exercise you get, the more fit you become.
The first part of fitness is cardiovascular conditioning, which improves your ability to exercise by increasing your heart rate and pumping blood throughout your body. This makes your lungs more efficient, which increases your endurance and lowers your blood pressure. Examples include running, walking, bicycling, swimming, and cycling. Strength, or resistance, training exercises make your muscles tougher. These are also great for your cardiovascular fitness, but if you aren’t doing any strength training, you need to add some cardio training as well.
Fitness also includes muscular strength, which is also increased by regular exercise. Muscles gain mass when you lift weights, so strength and muscle fitness are related. When you do weights, your body must work at it in order to support the weights, so you will need a strong core and back in order to lift them. Lower body exercises, such as walking, will also help build up those muscles.
Exercise helps to burn calories, which is one component of fitness. It is an important factor in weight loss, because being overweight is directly proportional to calories that we eat. A sedentary lifestyle, or an inactive lifestyle, is considered to be poor fitness, because it means that we don’t expend enough energy to do physical work, thus we consume more calories than we use.
We all need some measure of fitness in order to function properly in life. If we are not working out or exercising regularly, we may feel sluggish, fatigued, irritable, even depressed. Our bodies need to be challenged physically in order to grow and change. We need to be active, we need to move around, we need to be lifting things and exerting ourselves, otherwise we will remain sedentary and that will not help us grow as a person. Daily activities such as reading, writing, eating, cooking, talking on the phone, watching television, gardening, cleaning the house, walking the dog – these are all forms of physical activity.
Aerobic exercises, such as walking and bicycling, are an important part of a fitness regimen, but the most important thing that you need to do is get healthier. Get enough sleep, get enough water and take care of yourself. It is an especially important thing to do as we get older. It’s increasingly important to increase our fitness levels.