What Is Fitness?
Fitness is a condition of well-being and overall health and, more importantly, the ability to do different types of tasks, jobs and sports. Generally speaking, fitness involves maintaining a normal body weight, maintaining a regular heart rate, and having the proper body structure. Basically, physical fitness is achieved through regular physical activity, proper nutrition and enough rest. These things are actually part of an individual’s lifestyle which is what the fitness program of the individual follows.
The term “fitness” can be used in two distinct contexts. One context refers to fitness as in, achieving or maintaining good health. The second context refers to the condition of being able to do or execute without undue fatigue. In this case, “fitness” is used in a more generic sense, one that encompasses all aspects of daily activities and accomplishments. Indeed, it is the ability to do or carry out without undue fatigue that constitutes fitness.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise can be performed through light, aerobic activity or through strength-training activity or even through a combination of both. Regardless of how the exercise is performed or how long the activity takes, whether the activity is strenuous or low impact, as long as the activity does not require the use of excessive energy, and as long as the activity is performed in moderation – which can include wearing proper clothing, taking food into the body, drinking adequate water, and resting adequately – the body can attain or maintain a fit and healthy body weight.
The second component of “fitness” is physical fitness. A person who is fit has a general disposition that will help him physically as well as emotionally respond to the demands of life. A fit person is not only healthy, but physically strong. Physical fitness can be attained through activities such as walking, bicycling, jogging, swimming, hiking, climbing stairs, playing sports, or engaging in aerobic exercises. In addition, weightlifting can significantly improve muscle tone and function.
Flexibility is another important component of fitness. It pertains to the range of motion of joints and the joints themselves. If the range of motion of joints is good, then the person can engage in prolonged physical activities without undue fatigue. Adequate flexibility means adequate mobility and flexibility in daily tasks.
Finally, one component of fitness that many people ignore or discount is the need for regular exercise. Regular physical activity provides an array of benefits, including improved health, increased stamina, reduced stress, enhanced immune function, decreased cancer risks, better sleep, and lower blood pressure. These benefits can offset any negative effects associated with poor nutrition, inactivity, or poor general health. Even among those who eat a balanced diet and engage in regular exercise, those who do not make time for regular exercise may end up being at a greater risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, stroke, and cancer. If you have difficulty making time for regular exercise, consider working out in your pajamas or bathing in the morning, or at a friend’s house.