When I was young, I remember being fascinated by fitness. I would watch my favorite athletes and see how they struggled with maintaining their fitness level. My gym teacher, who happened to be one of the fittest people I had ever met, would tell me how important it was to stay in shape. I felt like if I didn’t “sprout” or develop a sprout, then I would never achieve the same level of success as those that were much bigger in size. That concept stuck with me throughout my teenage years and later into my adult life.
Fitness in general has many definitions and some have even gone as far as to define it as the amount of calories that you can burn in one day or a year. However, overall fitness in most cases is measured by a number of factors and some are more common than others. Physical fitness, in general, is a condition of well-being and, more importantly, the capacity to do various activities and parts of sports, even everyday activities like walking or even sleeping in a hotel room on a hot spring night. Physical fitness is usually achieved through regular moderate-to-vigorous exercise, proper nutrition and adequate rest.
Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability of your heart and lungs to efficiently pump oxygenated blood to vital muscle groups as you complete an exercise bout. It takes the form of both an aerobic and an anaerobic capacity. Aerobic fitness has been defined as the ability of the heart and lungs to efficiently pump oxygenated blood while at the same time reducing the amount of oxygenated carbon dioxide in your blood (the by-product of respiratory muscles pumping oxygen-rich blood). An anaerobic capacity on the other hand, is the ability of your heart and lungs to produce energy from an internal source and exhaust oxygenated blood via your lungs.
So, how is it that we can measure our physical state? One method is the treadmill, which measure your heart rate and pulse, and monitors your muscular activity. Another is the monitor that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. A popular fitness device is the Body Fat Test, which measures things such as total body fat and BMI (Body Mass Index).
Flexibility is closely tied to physical performance, fitness, and endurance. In other words, if you have good flexibility, then you’re physically fit. On the other hand, if you have poor flexibility, then you’re not likely to be as flexible in many aspects of your life. Poor flexibility means that you won’t be able to do a lot of activities easily, won’t be able to make a lot of friends easily, or won’t be able to live a very fulfilled life. Poor fitness often correlates with a poor emotional health as well, meaning that poor fitness could lead to high levels of stress, high blood pressure, poor memory, and lower self-esteem.
While these are all important facets of physical fitness, it’s the combination of all of these factors that makes one person fit while another is not. Good fitness requires not only cardiovascular and muscle strength, but also proper flexibility and balance. There are lots of exercises that you can do to improve your fitness. To get started, visit your local gym, and ask an instructor for some advice on the best ways for you to work out. You may also do some research online, or go to a fitness camp.