Physical fitness refers to a condition of well-being and healthy living and, more importantly, the capacity to do basic activities and parts of recreational pursuits. Physical fitness is usually achieved through regular physical activity, proper nutrition and enough rest. But aside from the importance of these aspects in one’s life, it is important to be fit physically as well because it can affect one’s quality of life in so many ways. Below are some of the many benefits of being fit:
Physical fitness improves overall health. It reduces the risks of heart diseases and strokes. Aside from these two health conditions, physical fitness also lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, cholesterol levels, lung function, muscle strength, and bone density. The most effective forms of exercise include cardiovascular exercises (such as running, walking, biking, skating, and swimming) and resistance training (e.g., lifting weights). Aerobic fitness includes various types of aerobic activities such as aerobic dancing, swimming, dancing, jogging, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and tennis.
Flexibility and mobility are the most important parts of physical fitness. They improve your range of movement and reduce the risk of strains, sprains, and injuries. The most effective forms of exercise for maintaining your flexibility and mobility are swimming, stretching, biking, hiking, and calisthenics (e.g., push-ups, pull-ups, and abdominal crunches). Aerobic exercises are particularly useful for maintaining muscle tone and reducing fat deposits.
The three major components of fitness include endurance, agility, and muscular strength. Strength exercises build endurance and muscular strength while endurance increases your endurance. Agility exercises to improve your reaction time and reaction speed while strengthening your leg muscles. Thus, exercises that make use of your leg muscles, including sprinting, jumping, walking, cycling, rowing, and running, are very important to fitness.
Exercise physiologists study how different types of exercise affect your body’s responses to stress. They use a wide array of methods to test the effects of exercise on your heart rate, circulation, and immune system. They can also test your overall health by testing your body’s resistance to infection, fatigue, and stress. Many studies have found that people who engage in different types of exercise consistently have higher overall health than those who don’t. Researchers have linked exercise to lower rates of depression, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.
Fitness should not be equated to body mass. When you get fitter you don’t just look and feel good but you also feel more confident and functional. To stay fit and healthy, it is important to include a variety of core exercises in your fitness regimen and to stretch and strengthen your muscles through cardiovascular exercise, weight training, and core stability exercises.