Fitness is the condition of living in a healthy condition and having a proper weight. There are many things that contribute to our physical fitness, but some of the most important include regular exercise and diet. Physical fitness is usually achieved through moderate-to-vigorous exercise, proper nutrition and adequate rest. The importance of fitness can never be exaggerated. The most common reason for seeking fitness advice is the desire to maintain or improve our health. People also seek fitness guidance because they have been unable to achieve an optimum level of fitness.
One type of fitness involves muscular endurance, which refers to the ability of the skeletal, musculoskeletal and vascular systems to sustain the demands of activity for a long time. Aerobic exercises, which include walking, cycling, swimming, resistance training, rowing and running, are examples of muscular endurance exercises. Anaerobic endurance exercises, which do not require a great amount of muscular endurance, include flexibility, jumping, playing sports such as tennis and basketball, and lifting weights. Resistance training is a key component of muscular endurance, as it develops and builds the muscles, tendons and ligaments that help support the skeleton.
Another aspect of fitness involves cardiovascular efficiency, which refers to the ability of the heart to pump blood efficiently across the body. Cardiovascular efficiency is enhanced by aerobic exercise and other forms of exercise. It is also improved by appropriate nutrition, such as consuming enough protein, calories and complex carbohydrates to support the overall health of the body. When cardiovascular efficiency is improved, the body uses less energy (calories) to maintain its normal metabolic rate. Additionally, lean muscle mass, which supports and improves cardiovascular efficiency, is also developed.
Another important factor in fitness relates to muscle strength and flexibility. Maintaining muscle strength and improving flexibility enable the body to utilize its physical activity reserves, such as energy and oxygen. It allows the person to engage in physical activity for longer periods of time and to improve strength and the ability of the individual in carrying out movements. Additionally, improved flexibility makes movement easier and more effective, and can also reduce the risk of injury or prolonged illness.
The physiological processes and systems that support the functioning of the human body are called metabolic processes. These processes require energy, which is obtained from food intake. The consumption of food to support these metabolic processes is called physical activity. Metabolic processes improve the supply of energy to the skeletal, nervous, immune, and reproductive systems. As these processes improve, so does the capacity of the person to maintain proper weight, body composition, bone density, and muscle strength.
Fitness is an ever-evolving concept, one that depends largely on an individual’s ability to modify their behaviors and attitudes in order to meet the needs of their current environment and to adapt to changes. Fitness is most effectively achieved when a person takes responsibility for their own health. Fitness is not only about working out, but about eating healthy, maintaining a reasonable level of activity, and getting regular rest periods. A well-balanced approach to fitness will promote lasting vitality and a healthy, positive self-image.