The True Meaning of Fitness

Fitness has become a buzzword. Everyone says it over and over again, but few know what it truly means. According to the National Federation of Professional Trainers Handbook, the official definition is as follows:

“Having the energy and strength to perform daily activities vigorously and alertly, with energy left over to enjoy leisure activities or to meet emergency demands. The muscles, lungs, and heart should be strong, and weight and body fat should be within a desirable range – 25% body fat or less for women and 18% body fat or less for men.”

This is the correct meaning of the word. While we all have our subjective definition on it, this is how the book says it. But there are more aspects to fitness that the definition doesn’t gloss over, and we’re going to break it all down.

There are four main parts of being fit, and we’re going to discuss them all in this article.

Cardiorespiratory Conditioning

This term just means that your cardiovascular and respiratory system is in sync with your muscles. If not, it can lead to you running out of breath. Keeping endurance in your cardio and respiratory systems, AKA your heart and lungs, will give you more energy, and burn calories and fat.

To accomplish ideal cardio fitness, your heart rate should be 60-70% when performing cardio. You should use large muscle groups that are built for long periods of exercise, such as running, cycling, using an elliptical machine or swimming. Do this 3-5 times every week for 15 minutes to an hour each day. In about six to eight weeks, you’ll see results.

Muscular Endurance

In other words, you’ll be able to work out your muscle for a long period. If you can do lots of crunches, or hold a medium-sized object for an hour, this is a great example of low-intensity muscular endurance. It can help you perform actions for longer, so it is ideal.

To make sure your muscles are properly trained, do 20-25 reps, using 40-60% of your maximum weight capacity. Three circuits of three endurance exercises are also ideal, and these include leg squatting, pressing, pulling, or pushing.

Muscular Strength

Muscular strength is broken down into two types, dynamic and static. Dynamic determines how much you can move, and it includes workouts such as bench presses or curls. Static strength, meanwhile, means how much you can hold without your muscles moving. Bridges and planks are great examples.

To achieve ideal fitness, you should have the strength to do your activities without injury, especially if you work with heavy objects. Keep an intensity of about 80-90% of your maximum weight capacity, and do about four to six reps.

Good, static workouts and dynamic workouts are needed. Try doing workouts that will target multiple groups of muscles instead of just one. Work out for twice a week, as they need time to heal.

Flexibility

Being flexible is extremely important if you want to achieve ideal fitness, but people tend to forget about it, and that’s sad. Flexibility, in layman’s terms, means that you can move your muscles and joints in their complete motion range without them hurting or feeling uncomfortable. To determine flexibility, try the toe touch test. Straighten your legs and bend forward to touch your toes. You’re flexible if you can touch your toes without moving your legs.stretching flexability

Flexibility is important because it will reduce the chance of injury and keep your muscles and joints active, even in the face of aging. Two of your most important areas to work on are your lower back and hamstrings, or rear thighs. This is because these areas tend to be injured the most.

To do this, stretch. Stretching should be low intensity. You’ll be pulling your muscles, but you shouldn’t feel pain. If you do, ease yourself up and take a deep breath. Keep the stretches simple, but keep in mind that all joints and muscles need to be loosened. Do this before and after each workout to prevent muscle ache and injury, and do it for about 10-15 minutes. If you do it more, you can increase how flexible you are.

A Good Fitness Workout

The NFPT recommends this workout to achieve ideal fitness.

Start by warming up for 5-10 minutes. To do this, stretch and perform a low-intensity workout, such as walking or cycling.

After that, weight train for 25 minutes. Make sure to do three sets of 20 reps of these exercises: Leg pressing, pulling, and pushing. Do three circuits of them, or nine sets.

Ten minutes of core. Any workout will suffice.

Twenty minutes of aerobics. By doing this, your heart should be beating at a rate of 70%. Run, jog, swim, and cycle to achieve this.

Finally, cool down. Stretching can help your muscles relax and prevent them from being injured. You should be focusing on the muscles that you’ve worked out, in particular.

Overall

And that’s what true fitness is. By keeping all four of these elements in check, you should be able to achieve true, ideal fitness. Remember to start slow and build it up from there, and you’ll be fit in no time.

About the author

Mary Goforth

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