So what is Fitness and what does it mean to be Fit? You might think that the meaning of fit is to have huge muscles and do a large amount of weight lifting spending hours and hours in the gym every day, which might be for some. You might be able to lift 200 pounds, but put you on a running track and you won’t be able to run 2 miles without losing your breath and vice versa. You can choose which areas you want to be fit in or you can work on achieving basic level of fitness in all key areas.
Wondering what are the key areas of fitness? There are 4 areas of fitness that you can work on which will contribute to you being healthy and fit – cardio fitness, muscle training, flexibility and of course nutrition. Lets look more closely at what all these mean for you.
Cardio workouts are the the ones that get your heart racing and your blood pumping through your veins and also work a lot of large muscles like arms, torso and your legs. Best activities for a good cardio workout are cycling or running. If you are planning to join a gym you will be able to find bicycles or treadmills available in huge numbers. Or if you are looking to increase your fitness levels before joining a gym a run around the park few times a week with your friends is the best way to improve your cardio. Cardio is also great for burning fat and getting rid of that cellulite on your legs.
This is where the gym and weight lifting comes in. Don’t worry lifting weights doesn’t mean you are going to end up looking like those buff body builders you see on the internet or TV. Lifting weights on regular basis keeps your muscles strong and increases your strength. Not only lifting iron keeps your muscles strong it also keeps your bones strong and healthy and decreases risk of breaking them or gaining bone diseases later in your life. Muscle strength also keeps the injuries away so you are less likely to twist your ankle while stepping of a curb or while playing with your kids or a football match with your mates. And last lifting the iron makes your body take great shape and speeds up your metabolism which helps you burn calories much faster then normal.
Flexibility training or so called stretching is very often forgotten and ignored by many unless your a professional gymnast or a dancer. Stretching is more important to fitness then you might realise. Not only flexibility has a large role in performing many daily tasks, but maintaining your flexibility is crucial to protecting your joints and keeping them healthy through your lifetime. Keeping up with your flexibility will also contribute to improving your lower back health, reduce the risk and effects of arthritis and reduce muscle tendon injuries during your training.
When you have decided to get into fitness more seriously remember you need to start making wise food choices and look after your diet. This doesn’t mean you have to stop eating and live from water and carrots for weeks. All you have to do is make smarter food choices with regards what you eat. Instead of munching on a pack of peanut cookies change it to a peace of whole grain toast and peanut butter or a banana both of these will give you energy to exercise and will be much healthier then cookies loaded with sugar. If you love to snack no matter what change your unhealthy sugar snacks like crisps, candy and other junk food to more healthier alternative like fresh or dried fruit and nuts. Believe me the less junk food you eat the better you will feel and the the better you feel the more motivation you will have to work out. If you are looking to loose weight changing your eating habits is even more important. Try introducing more grapefruit, lettuce and leafy greens, watermelon, lean meats like chicken and turkey and other vegetables and foods that will help you burn fat and still stay well fed and satisfied through the day!
Just looking at these 4 bullet points anyone can tell there are a lot of health benefits in taking on fitness more seriously and keeping yourself fit through your life. It is hard work and takes a lot of self motivation and determination, but the results and gained benefits and all worth it!
Comment below why you work out and about your favourite way to keep fit?