We all know how important it is to be fit and healthy, and most of us strive for that optimum physical condition. But what many of us are not aware of is the difference between fitness and physical activity. Fitness is defined as the capacity to do activities of a regular nature, normally involving moving about and doing things. Physical fitness therefore is usually defined through regular exercise, proper nutrition and adequate rest. Hence, it is understood that one should always strive to keep fit and healthy for maximum benefits.
Cardiorespiratory endurance or cardio fitness as it is popularly known, is an indispensable requirement for all individuals as it is the foundation on which all other forms of fitness are built. It has something to do with the heart and lungs and is measured by the amount of oxygen in the muscle groups can supply during activity. The level of oxygenation also determines the intensity of the metabolic processes and is thus an important determinant of overall health. A low level of oxygen in the blood leads to poor mental and physical functioning, reduced reaction times and drowsiness which are symptoms for several diseases and conditions.
Another major aspect of fitness is weight control. The main article of fitness focuses on weight control, because it is considered to be a major determinant of overall health. Weight control is achieved by decreasing caloric intake, increasing physical activity, increasing the proportion of carbohydrate intake, decreasing fat intake, increasing protein intake and lastly increasing nutrient density of food. Hence, to achieve weight control, a person has to adopt an appropriate diet plan and exercise regularly.
Physical activity is an aspect of fitness that is often neglected by people. However, it is very essential because it helps in improving cardiovascular and respiratory functions and also plays an important role in immunity. For optimal results, a person has to adopt a combination of various fitness activities such as cardiovascular exercises, resistance training and aerobics, while being physically active for at least 150 minutes every day. Aerobic exercises include running, jogging, walking, dancing, swimming, and other forms of aerobic activity. Resistance training includes weightlifting, body weight exercises, curls, bench pressing, stretching, and other forms of resistance training.
The fourth main aspect of fitness and good health is rest. Rest periods between exercising sessions play an important role in maintaining fitness levels because such periods enable muscles to rejuvenate and repair themselves after working out. Besides, rest periods make it easier for the body to recover from strenuous physical fitness activities.
Finally, one of the key aspects of fitness is consistency of physical exercise and diet. This is because physical exercise and diet go hand in hand and if one fails to maintain the same level of fitness then it will be more difficult for the person to maintain an ideal fitness level. Consistent physical fitness is what most people want as it helps them lead a normal and healthy life free from ailments. Hence, it is important to exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in essential nutrients and vitamins. This can keep the body fit and healthy, while keeping weight gain and fat loss at bay.