Fitness

Definition of fitness: Good health, especially good physical condition resulting from exercise and proper nutrition.

Fitness is far more than simply exercising on a consistent basis. Fitness has a variety of components and there are many ways it can be measured. With a solid understanding of this topic, individuals can address those aspects of their life that directly impact fitness.

Definition of Fitness

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physical fitness is defined as 'the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and respond to emergencies.' Based on this definition, fitness involves everything from getting out of bed to hiking to performing CPR.

In order to complete all of these tasks, one must consistently address their fitness levels. This requires proper conditioning through both structured exercise and leisurely activities.

 How to Set Up a Workout Plan

Starting a workout plan is not an easy task. Much planning must go into deciding what you want to do, when, how and for what reason. Here is a quick overview on starting a workout plan that can help you with your goal of losing weight, gaining muscle or staying the way you are.

   The Steps:

  1. Decide what you want from your workouts. Is it weight-loss, gain, muscle, endurance, or maintain what you have.

  2. Decide what specific type of workout you want to do. For instance, a cardio exercise will help in weight-loss and improve endurance, whereas lifting weights will - for the most part - increase muscle-mass.

  3. Once you decide what you want from your workouts. Sit down with a weekly calendar and figure out how many days you should workout to keep you moving toward your goal.

  4. (Optional) If you are unsure what is considered satisfactory go see a personal trainer and they will help assist you in setting up a plan.

  5. You really don’t need to see one unless you have some health risk and a trainer can make sure your plan will not hurt you more, or you are just doing a low-risk, basic workout as the cost of a trainer will be too much for that style of a workout.

  6. Once the plan is set, you must commit yourself to the plan, or you will not see the results set forth by the plan. After a workout session you can adjust the exercise either to increase or decrease the plan until you reach a point that suits you better.

  7. Follow your schedule for at least 3 to 5 weeks. If the plan is a good one and you stick to it for those lengths, you will see results that should be enough to motivate and keep you moving toward meeting your goals. Below you will find a wide variety of exercises to help you start a balanced and fun workout!

Aerobic Articles

Most Popular Flexibility Articles

Active Aging Websites

Stretching & Flexibility

Components of Fitness

Depending on the source, the components of fitness vary considerably. Below are common components:

  • Cardiorespiratory endurance - typically measured by how long or fast a person can perform an activity and how this impacts measurements such as heart rate and oxygen consumption.

  • Muscular endurance - typically measured by how many repetitions of an exercise a person can perform. Common tests involve push-ups and sit ups.

  • Muscular strength - typically measured by how much weight can be moved in relation to repetitions. Exercises involving multiple joints and muscle groups such as squats or bench press are often used.

  • Muscular power - typically measured by how much force can be generated during a given activity. Advanced equipment used by biomechanists are often needed to measure muscular power.

  • Flexibility - typically measured by how far a muscle group can be stretched or joint can be moved. The most common tests involve the hamstrings and shoulders.

  • Balance - typically measured by how long a particular position can be held with or without some type of activity being performed. Simple tests such as standing on one leg can be used to assess balance. More advanced tests may involve standing on an unsteady object while trying to catch a ball.

  • Speed - typically measured by how quickly an individual can move from one point to another. The 40-yard dash is often used to assess speed.

  • Body composition - this is the amount of fat on the body versus other tissues such as muscle, bones and skin. Measured using a variety of tests and devices. Simple tests using mathematical equations or calipers are common and inexpensive. More advanced tests such as underwater weighing are far less common and much more expensive.

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