Fitness is more than being able to run thirty minutes on a treadmill. It’s more than having strong muscles or being able to twist your body into a Yoga pose. Fitness is being able to carry out the demands of your life with ease and being able to handle a sudden situation that requires a little extra effort.
A complete fitness program
If a person builds a muscular physique but can’t climb a few flights of stairs without getting winded, are they really fit? We must look at five components of fitness and address each one to be truly physically fit. They are:
• Muscular fitness: Improve muscular strength by incorporating a program of resistance exercise into your fitness program. This could include weights, resistance tubing, Yoga and swimming. Exercises such as pushups that use your own body weight for resistance are excellent exercises.
• Cardiovascular fitness: Improve heart and lung strength by performing exercises such as aerobics, fast walking or speed walking, running, swimming and using cardiovascular equipment such as a stepper or elliptical machine.
• Flexibility: Improve the body’s flexibility by incorporating stretches after exercises or practicing Yoga.
• Healthy nutrition: A healthy diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein such as lean meat and fish. A vegetarian needs to incorporate foods such as legumes, nuts and seeds to get adequate protein.
• Stress management: Take an objective look at your life and the causes of stress and then address each issue.
Benefits of fitness
Fitness brings benefits such as increased energy and productivity, greater concentration, stronger heart, lungs, muscles and bones, lower blood pressure, decreased body fat, lower cholesterol, reduced risk of serious diseases, weight management and improved appearance.
Decide to be fit
The first step to improving your personal fitness is to make the decision that you are going to make some changes in your life. They don’t have to be big changes – just make the decision to get started.
Have a fitness plan
The second step is to have a plan. Start by setting aside certain times during the week to commit to exercising. Start with three half hour blocks of time in the first week. Once you set the time, you’ve made the commitment. Your plan should include small realistic goals that are part of the big picture. Don’t try to do too much at first or you may get discouraged. Assess your present diet and stress levels and see where you could make small changes.
The third step is to be consistent. To realize the benefits of fitness, you must keep it up regularly. It takes six weeks to develop a habit and two weeks to fall out of one. Don’t let excuses keep you from sticking to your plan.
As soon as you get started on the road to fitness, you’ll start to feel better and enjoy life more. By attending to all of these areas, you will be on the road to good health, inner peace and improved quality of life.