020819 Introduction to fitness

020819 Introduction to fitness

This portion of ActivelyFitSeniors exposes you to the different concepts of fitness and then swiftly moves into guiding you in setting up your own fitness program. Now, it will be immediately apparent that if you are exercising, you will get tired and sore. Therefore, a discussion follows concerning the causes of fatigue and soreness along with a few of the indicators that appear. It ends with several fitness tests that you can use to compare yourself to others.

Physical fitness-a broad-brush look at the components

The term physically fit means different things to different people. To some it means being able to run long distances, be ultra flexible or having the ability to lift heavy weights. To others it implies maintaining a favorable muscle to fat ratio i.e. body composition. And to some being physically fit means taking into account such factors as agility, balance, coordination and fast reactions.

Overall, physical fitness addresses aerobics for your heart, strength and conditioning for your muscles and flexibility in the joints. The latter is achieved by including both static and dynamic stretching in your program.

If this is too much to think about doing at first then break it into smaller pieces over the course of a week. For example, on Monday do a strength training session beginning with a five minute warm up for your whole body. Move into dynamic stretches for the area you are about to work and then transition into a movement specific warm up. At the end of the strength training session, spend some time doing static stretches. This lets your body cool down and returns it to the pre-exercise status.

On Tuesday, if you are working out every day, do your cardiovascular workout. Train for up to thirty minutes at 80% of your target heart rate.

A quick but not particularly accurate method of finding your target heart rate is by deducting your age from 220. This is your maximum heart rate but can be off by as much as ten percent in either direction. Having stated this and now knowing the error that remains in the calculation take the result and multiply it by the percentage you choose to use in figuring out your heart rate training zone.

Wednesday will be another strength training day similar to Monday

Thursday will be cardio day as was Tuesday.

Friday’s training is focused on strength again.

Take a break on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday reverse the exercise schedule by doing three days of cardio and two of strength training.

Intensity is the key. Low intensity, long duration workouts are occasionally ok. However if you want to get into decent shape and stay that way then you have keep the intensity high enough to actually do you some good.

Puttering around at low speed on a bike or treadmill for a long time or using light little weights may feel like it’s doing some good. And it may be, if you are extremely frail or near deaths door. Otherwise, it’s not doing much. So get going. Your body will soon be rewarding you with renewed vigor and better blood test results when you go in for your physical.

Physical fitness is defined in many different ways. Most definitions center on the ability of the persons capacity to move about in their daily lives. Health related fitness, when compared to athletic fitness, pertains to disease prevention and relative generalized health promotion activities.

This state is achieved when the individual is able to perform daily activities with vigor and demonstrates the traits and capacities of a healthy lifestyle that is associated with low risks of a premature development of hypokinetic diseases. The diseases that accompany inactivity such as obesity, cardiovascular impairments, sarcopenia, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and diabetes to name but a few that have adverse impacts on our lives.

As can be seen there are differing ways to describe physical fitness but there is relative unanimity of agreement when it comes to the operational definition of physical fitness: It goes without argument that acceptable levels of physical fitness include movement-related traits and performance indicators. The components of fitness encompass cardio respiratory endurance, body composition (lean muscle compared to fat tissue percentages) strength of the neuromuscular systems, strength endurance and flexibility.

The better each of the foregoing parts of the fitness continuum fit together the healthier will be the person.

The components of physical fitness

Every person has a different idea of what constitutes physical fitness. Some believe if you are able to run a mile or lift a heavy weight you are fit. But are you?

There are many aspects to consider when discussing physical fitness and each of these may change with time, place, type of work being done and the presenting situation. However, all of the physical fitness pieces are a result of everyday activity, and the encoding of the genetic potential of the individual. How you make use of what you have been given depends on how dedicated you are to the increasing your personal level.

Physical fitness is the achievement of motor tasks such as speed, strength and endurance and the physiological responses to the imposed stress placed on the body during physical activity. Thus fitness is both dynamic, (motor achievements) and static, i.e. medical fitness. Top performance is a combination of the two and is attainable only through the reaching of peak physical fitness.

Looking at the concept of fitness a bit closer will reveal that it is the ability to perform everyday living tasks willingly and with enough energy left over to then enjoy other physical activities during the remaining free time. And to have enough energy left in reserve to meet unexpected physical and mental demands. Put another way it’s the state of the person’s level of ability for activity.

Fitness enhances the performance of significant agility, dexterity, strength, speed, or other motor qualities or the development of these abilities that are then measurable by testing that requires no proficiency of a particular sport technique.

Another way of looking at the issue is to determine the shape or condition of the organs and their specific level of functioning as expressed via the solving of versatile motor tasks. This helps to determine the developmental degree of the individual’s motor abilities.

In many cases, physical fitness can be seen as the ratio of effectiveness of the total complexion of the body to its predisposition toward success in the sport. Furthermore, it can also be stated as a realization of life style and/or the system of values expressed in how a person lives their life every day.

It has even been equated to the biological value of the human and is the entirety of the person’s ability and skill to perform all movement activities.

As can be seen from the few paragraphs above fitness is defined in many different ways. This fitness ability is not given to a person in one dose nor is it permanent or dispensed in equal amounts to all people. Fitness has to be sought after and relentlessly pursued if it is to be obtained. It is never given out on a silver platter.

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