What is Physical Fitness?
Physical fitness involves the performance of the heart and lungs and the muscles of the body. And, since what we do with our bodies also affects what we can do with our minds, fitness influences to some degree qualities such as mental alertness and emotional stability.
Physical fitness is to the human body what fine-tuning is to an engine. It enables us to
perform up to our potential. Fitness can be described as a condition that helps us look,
feel and do our best.
Physical fitness involves the performance of the heart and lungs and the muscles of the
body. And, since what we do with our bodies also affects what we can do with our
minds, fitness influences to some degree qualities such as mental alertness and
Types of Fitness
There are three types of fitness. To be considered physically fit, all three areas of physical fitness must be strengthened. The three types of fitness are aerobic, muscle strengthening, and flexibility. Understanding the difference in the types of fitness will assist in setting personal health goals. Achieving a healthy balance of all three types of fitness is vital to being physically fit.
Aerobic exercise is an activity that increases the amount of oxygen intake in the body. The American Heart Association recommends thirty minutes of aerobic exercise 5-7 days a week.
The benefits of aerobic exercise are:
- Improves cardiovascular conditioning and can decrease the risk of heart disease.
- Lowers blood pressure and can lower blood sugar.
- Can cause an increase in HDL (beneficial cholesterol).
- Can be an effective tool to help with weight management or weight loss.
- Improves lung function and makes the heart stronger.
A strength exercise is any activity that makes muscles work harder to perform the task. Muscle strengthening increases muscle size, power, and endurance. It is recommended to do a muscle-strengthening routine for two or more sessions (twenty minutes or less) per week. Muscle strengthening is best done in repetitions which is the same movement multiple times. This helps strengthen one muscle group at a time.
Muscle strengthening exercise examples are lifting weights, climbing stairs, cycling, dancing, push-ups and squats, and yoga. A young adult female performing twenty-two push-ups without stopping is considered above average muscle strength.
Flexibility exercises are activities that improve the ability of a muscle or joint to maintain the movement necessary to carry out daily tasks.
The benefits of flexibility:
- Help maintain the ability to perform everyday tasks
- Reduce the rate of muscle and bone loss associated with aging
- Reduce the chances of falling
- Improve posture
- Reduce aches and pains
- Lower risk of injury
Benefits of Exercise:
Most people could name some or all of the benefits of being physically
fit. Some of which is to avoid illness, disease, and injury, look better, and have more energy;
there are some additional unexpected benefits as well!
Exercise Can Help Control Stress –
Chemicals called neurotransmitters, produced in the brain, are stimulated during exercise. Since it’s believed that neurotransmitters mediate our moods and emotions, they can make us feel better and less stressed
Exercise can keep your immune system STRONG –
Research has shown that during moderate exercise, several positive changes occur in the immune system. Various immune cells circulate through the body more quickly and are better able to kill bacteria and viruses.