The Importance of Good Fitness
Fitness is often misunderstood by the layman and many people don’t really understand what it means. In fact, fitness is simply a condition of well being and health and, more importantly, the capacity to do various activities, sports and other daily tasks without harming oneself. Physical fitness is normally achieved through regular moderate-to-vigorous exercises, proper nutrition and adequate rest. The most common physical activities associated with fitness are running, walking, weight lifting and bicycling.
One of the primary goals of fitness programs is to promote weight loss and the maintenance of a healthy body weight. Weight loss is achieved by decreasing caloric intake and increasing the energy consumed through regular exercise and activity. Another goal of fitness programs is the prevention of chronic diseases and premature death. Fitness lowers the risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis. Regular exercise prevents the development of high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, asthma, COPD, sleep apnea and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, regular exercise prevents the development of a number of other serious chronic diseases.
Core strength training is important for maintaining good health and fitness and for promoting an overall sense of well being. Core strength training is an essential component of overall fitness and should be a major component of any comprehensive fitness program. Core muscles, which include the muscles of the back, pelvis, abdomen, ribs, neck and even the fingers and hands, support and structure the entire body. Core strength training involves resistance training that utilize the muscle groups in the abdomen, lower back, hips and pelvis to stabilize and strengthen the spine, which is critical to a healthy posture.
Some of the more commonly known core exercises are sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, lunges and stretches. Core strength training also includes exercises that use the upper and lower body to balance and stabilize the spine. Examples of these include balancing a broomstick on one arm and standing with one leg out in the front while keeping the other hand on the opposite knee. Another way to help build your core muscles is to bend over and touch your toes. The more you do it, the better you’ll feel.
Fitness should be approached in two ways: As a form of physical fitness and as a form of mental fitness. Most people view exercise as either a form of physical fitness or a form of mental fitness, but they are wrong! Proper fitness or mental fitness can only be achieved through a proper combination of the two. For example, being physically fit will help to prevent injury and pain, but it will do little to increase one’s stamina or to boost one’s cardiovascular endurance. On the other hand, being mentally fit will help to improve one’s ability to concentrate, to learn new tasks and to solve problems, but it will have very little impact on one’s ability to do these tasks without going through rigorous workouts that are stressful and physically exhausting.
As you can see, fitness means different things to different people. Some may see even moderate exercise as a form of fitness, while others would not think of jogging or even jumping rope as forms of physical activity. It is important, though, that we all set realistic goals for ourselves and that we keep our motivation in check at all times. In this way, we can all achieve the type of physical and mental fitness that we are all capable of, which makes us happier and better able to take on whatever life throws at us. And last but not least, remember that fitness means different things to different people, and what works well for one does not always mean it will work for another.