Fitness is an important aspect to everyone’s life. Just like a health eating habits, fitness goes hand and hand. Physical activity is any body movement that works your muscles, uses more energy that when resting and enhances health. Physical activity for health, physical fitness, and performance are all categories of physical activity. Planned, structured, and repetitive bodily movement done to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness is exercise. Exercise is very important to fitness. Physical fitness refers to a set of health and performance-related attributes. There are four different types of physical fitness:

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness: ability to sustain aerobic whole-body activity for a prolonged period of time. Heart, lungs and blood vessels to supply the body with oxygen efficiently. Aerobic exercise is the primary category of physical activity to improve cardiorespiratory fitness. Oxygen is required to make energy for prolonged activity. Aerobic capacity/power is the volume of oxygen the muscles consume during exercise. Maximal aerobic power is the maximal volume of oxygen that the muscles consume during exercise. Walk or run test on a treadmill is the most common maximal aerobic capacity.
  • Muscular strength: maximum force able to be exerted by single contraction of a muscle or muscle group. Muscle or group of muscles is capable of exerting in one contraction.
  • Muscular endurance: ability to perform high-intensity muscle contractions repeatedly without fatiguing. Group of muscles, endurance activity.
  • Flexibility: ability to move joints freely through their full range of motion. Joints or series of joints.
  • Body composition: the amount and relative proportions and distribution of fat mass and fat-free mass in the body. Fat and lean tissues- muscles, bone, and water organs.

There are many health benefits of physical activity. Some major related benefits:

  • Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Reduces hypertension or chromic high blood pressure. Reduces low-density lipoproteins, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. Lowers risk for coronary artery.
  • Reduced Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Reduced Cancer Risk: Lowers colon and rectal cancer. Lowers breast cancer.
  • Improved Bone Mass and Reduced Rick of Osteoporosis
  • Improved Weight Control: Increases metabolic rate.
  • Improved Immunity: Reduces susceptibility to disease. Increases the number of white blood cells
  • Improved Back Strength: Maintains proper posture and avoid posture-related stress in the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
  • Improved Mental Health and Stress Management: Improves mood. Decreases risk of depression, anxiety. Improves self-esteem.
  • Longer Life Span

When you are ready for start your road to physical activity, you must find something that you enjoy doing. However, if you have been inactive for a while, it’s best to consult your doctor first. Once you get the ok, you should start off slowly. Walking would be a good physical activity to start with. Gradually introducing walking would be good too, start with 10 minutes then bump up the time, as you get better. Incorporating fitness into your life is very important. Some obstacles that people may need to overcome are lack of time, social influence, lack of motivation, willpower, or energy, and lack of resources.

Any important component to sticking with your physical activity would set up SMART goals and use the FITT principle. SMART goals are specific, measureable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-orientated. FITT (frequency, intensity, time, and type) are uses to devise a workout plan.

Frequency: how often you must exercise. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend moderate physical activity 5 days a week. Major muscle groups 2 to 3 days a week should be preformed by 8 to 10 exercises.

Intensity: how hard your workout must be. A minimum of 2 to 3 days per week for flexibility training, daily training is even better.Target heart rate: heart rate between 64 and 96% of your maximum heart rate. To calculate this target heart rate, first you have to estimate your maximal heart rate with the formula, 206.9-(0.67 x age). Then multiply by .64, lower, and .94, upper, to determine the lower and upper limits of your target range. Example: 206.9- (.67 x 30)= 186.8, 186.8 x .64= 119.55, 186.8 x .94= 175.59, Target range= 120-176 beats per minute. Take your pulse during your workout to determine how close you are to your target heart rate. Lightly place your index and middle fingers over one of the major arteries in your neck, or on the artery on the inside of your waist. Start counting your pulse immediately after you stop exercising as your heart rate decreases rapidly.Borg’s rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale: how hard you feel you are working. Which you might base on your heart rate, breathing rate, sweating, and level of fatigue. This scale uses a rating from 6 to 20. An RPE of 12 to 16 is generally recommended for training the cardiorespiratory system.”Talk Test”: The easiest method. A “moderate” level of exercise is a conversational level of exercise. At this level you able to talk with a partner while exercising. Talking only in short fragments and not sentences; you may be at a “vigorous” level of exercise. Breathing so hard that talking is difficult.Maximum amount of weight you can lift in one contraction. One repetition maximum (1 RM) and can be individually determined or predicted from 10 RM test. Hold static stretching positions at an individually determined “point of tension”.

Time: how many minutes or repetitions of an exercise are requires per session. American College of Sports Medicine recommends vigorous actives at least 20 minutes at a time and least 30 minutes of moderate activities. Repetitions and sets, and rest periods. Hold each stretch at the “point of tension” for 10 to 30 seconds for each stretch.

Type: the kind of exercises performed. 20 or more minutes will improve cardiorespiratory fitness. Resistance training is most often recommended using either your own body weight or devices that provide a fixed or variable resistance. Static stretching, slowly and gradually lengthens a muscle or group muscles and their attached tendons, is the safest stretching exercise.

Plan it, Start it, and stick with it. Make the exercise enjoyable. Start slowly. Make only one lifestyle change at a time. Set reasonable expectations for yourself and your physical fitness program. Choose a time to exercise and stick with it. Keep a record of your progress. Take lapses in stride.

Core training is important for maintain full mobility and stability and for preventing back injury. Exercises like yoga, tai chi, and Pilates will help with core training. People with asthma, obesity, coronary heart disease and hypertension, diabetes, and older adults should consult a doctor before exercising. Nutrition and exercise goes hand and hand. Make sure you time your food intake before exercising so your body is fueled. Stay hydrated is key in exercising.

Fitness is important to cleaning eating. Knowing the appropriate food to eat helps keep me on track with my fitness. My body needs the appropriate clean foods to keep my exercise program in check. This week I have upped my exercise. I have been doing exercise for 4 days a week. I have been doing the elliptical and arc trainer. I also have been seeing my trainer once a week. She helps motivate me. She is also helping my get comfortable with weights and other weight equipment.

After enjoying a nice walk!



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