Know About Fitness And How Important It Is For Your Health

Fitness, health and quality living are all interdependent. But most people tend to confuse fitness with extra hours of workout with meager healthy habits. This is not the case. So what does it mean when we talk about fitness? Well, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about fitness and how it is going to improve your health. Additionally, you will also be able to collect some crucial health and fitness tips in this article. 

According to Wikipedia, physical fitness has been described as –

“Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. Physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical exercise, and sufficient rest along with a formal recovery plan.”

Thus, the definition says it all. So, fitness is not just hitting the gym but it is a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle while being physically and mentally sound. Thus, with physical exercise, you need to include proper nutrition through a balanced diet and adequate rest that helps you in the recovery of the damaged tissues you might have while doing intensive exercises. Fitness also means improving your stamina and immunity to be less prone to falling sick. 

What Was The Starting Point Of Fitness?

Now you may ask how fitness came into existence. Physical fitness has always been an important aspect of life. It has been theorized that when people left behind the hunter gatherer lifestyle, and started forming fixed communities based on agriculture, the fitness level that usually existed started to decline. 

That being said, it is not to be referred to that the levels of the physical labour has decreased but the type of work people had adopted were not necessarily conducive as a general level of fitness. This gave rise to the regimented fitness regimes that became more common. This was seen especially in the case of various classical civilizations such as Rome and Ancient Greece. 

In Greece, physical fitness was considered to be a crucial component of a healthy life. It was a norm within the Greek men to hit the gymnasiums on a frequent basis. Physical fitness was also considered to hold immense importance in the ability of the nations to train their soldiers for making an effective military force. These were just some of the reasons the organized fitness regimes have come into existence all through the known history and many countries even hold evidence to it. 

The gymnasiums that became quite familiar at the contemporary age started to become increasingly common in the 19th century. Many people started to lead sedentary lifestyles owing to the industrial revolution. There existed an increased awareness regarding this to be potentially harmful to health. This can be considered as the main motimativing factor for the formation of a physical culture movement, especially in the USA and Europe. 

The movement had advocated hiked levels of physical fitness for women, men and children. It sought to do so via various forms of outdoor and indoor activity as well as education. In several ways, it has laid foundations to the contemporary fitness culture. However, it has been seen that people are more focussed towards losing weight and not specifically being fit. In the next segment, we will go through this.

The Age of Information Overload

“How To Lose Weight” has been one of the most searched topics on the internet these days. And from where this has come from? Well, you might have guessed already. It all came from the sedentary lifestyle where people mostly spend their time sitting on a chair and long hours in front of the computer. But this is not only to be blamed. The improper food habits like skipping meals, overeating or consumption of junk foods have led to weight gain. 

To find a solution for losing weight, many programs, products, supplements and even tea that has been brought into the market. But still people are immersed in confusion regarding this topic. If you are one of them struggling to know about fitness, chances are that you must have YouTubed the fitness contents online or have read about them. The more you research about this, the more you are turning towards confusion. 

The internet is flooded with a huge amount of conflicting information that draws you in different directions. You will know that some information that has been put out on the internet is solely for marketing while the others really aim to teach you. 

There are some videos that state that you can lose weight in just 10 minutes. If you believe in that then I would like to tell you that it is not possible. If you continue doing those 10 minute workouts for a long period, then you might see some very basic changes. This is because not everyone would like to see a 30 minutes video and then consider doing it. This would be extremely boring. 

However, there is good news that fitness does not necessarily have to be as hard as you might think. It is as simple as riding a bike. You might stumble a little bit in the beginning. But eventually, you will adapt yourself and it will no longer feel hard or boring. The first step, thus, is to track your weight correctly.

Correctly Tracking Your Weight

This is a very crucial starting step. If you track your weight correctly, then it will provide you with an accurate measurement that you can make use of to work with. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Use a weighing machine and find out your weight every single morning after you wake up.
  2. Do this method everyday for a week and calculate your MEDIAN weight for the week. 
  3. This is a continuous method where you need to do this on a weekly and monthly basis that will help you to determine how much you have lost or gained. 

The Median weight is much more accurate than the average weight owing to the fact that the former discards the outliers. It is also a good habit to weigh yourself every morning to receive an accurate reading rather than solely weighing yourself every week.

Calories In vs. Calories Out: The Golden Rule

If you are focussing on losing weight and thereby building muscles, then this is the golden rule. The rule of thumb states that “As long as you will burn more calories than what you consume, you will definitely lose fat.” You must keep in mind that gaining or losing weight is just a game of numbers.

A lot of misconceptions exist today regarding weight loss. Some of the most common misconceptions are:

  • Weight loss is effective only through consuming greens, lean meat and brown rice. 
  • Carbohydrates are bad for your health.
  • 5 small meals on a daily basis is the best way to lose pounds. 

But these are all misconceptions that you need to avoid as it confuses people even more. You might find it crazy but you can lose weight while you are still enjoying your favourite chocolate bar or favourite flavour of ice cream. The goal of fitness is to enjoy the process and make it a lifestyle. If you cannot continue it for a very long time, then you might be doing it wrong. In this regard, it can be said that you need to take into consideration the following three things. 

  • Reading The Nutrition Facts

You need to check the back of the products (sachets or containers) that you consume. All the nutritional facts of the products are given in detail. However, there are certain tricks that the companies apply and at the first glance you would not be able to tell as well. 

For example, the nutritional facts on the backside of a product mentions that “Calories per serving is 250” and number of servings is 2.5 per container. Many people will say that the calorie content of the product is 250. However, this is not the case. Many people do not consider the number of servings per container/sachet. 

So, to find out the actual calorie of the product, you need to take the calorie per serving and multiply it with the number of servings. Thus, in this case, it would be 250 x 2.5 = 625 calories.

  • Making Use Of A Food Scale A Habit

Investment on a food scale is probably the best one for your fitness and health. It is considered to be the best thing than the pre-workout session or the protein supplements that you might have invested in. The scale will give you the right calculation of your consumption and you need not have to do a guesswork on how much calorie you have taken in. 

Calculation of the calories will also give you an idea of whether you are going to lose weight or further gain it. If you are calculating the protein, then it will make sure that the consumed protein can help your body to recover and build muscles. It is recommended that you must consume 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per lb of your bodyweight. 

  • Take Help Of A Calorie Tracker

At this point you must be eager to know how much exactly your calorie intake should be on a daily basis. The calorie intake varies from person to person. The number that you will receive will depend on your height, weight, age and the number of days you invest in hitting the gym. You must also take into account the BMI or Body Mass Index.

There are a whopping number of calorie tracker platforms available on the internet. Apps have also been released in the App Store and Google Play Store. Two of the most commonly used apps in this regard are MyFitnessPal and TDEE Calculator. These apps are aimed at providing you an estimated number of calories that you are required to hit for losing your weight. This is followed by the training aspect. 

How Many Days In A Week Must You Train Yourself?

When you are at the gym challenging yourself and lifting heavy weights, it is very monotonous and calorie burning. This is the reason why you must not train yourself overly. The best way to lift weights is to limit the days to 3-4 times a week. This will also give your body an opportunity to recover from the past damages and you will be refreshed every time you hit the gym. If you are targeting to lose fat and build muscles, then 4 times a week is more than enough. On the contrary, if you are focusing on maintaining your physique then 3 times of a week is best for you. On your off days, you might go ahead and indulge in outdoor games. 

It is essential to keep rest days in a week as these days calms your body, mind and muscles. There are people who believe in “no rest days”. They believe that following no rest days will help them to build muscle faster. Little do they know that this is a deluded mentality that will burn them down in just a short span of weeks or months. 

The professional bodybuilders and the powerlifters understand how important are the rest days. They are just as important as the days that you hit the gym. Just as everything that glitters is not gold, more does not always necessarily mean better.

Exercises To Focus On

Two types of fitness are there that you need to know before proceeding – Aerobic and Anaerobic. In this segment we will cover both of them.

  • Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise or cardiorespiratory fitness is measured using the VO2 max. It is a measure of the oxygen amount the body can take up and use. These exercises improve cardiorespiratory fitness and thereby increase stamina. Additionally, it involves movement that increases the heart rate for improving the body’s oxygen consumption. This form of exercise forms an important art of all the training regiments and can be done by both professionals and everyday persons. 

Prominent examples of aerobic exercises are:

  • Jogging
  • Working on Elliptical Trainer
  • Walking
  • Treadmill
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Anaerobic Exercise

All the high intensity movements fall in the anaerobic exercise category. These exercises are performed for a relatively short period of time. These exercises do not require the body to use up the oxygen for producing energy. It helps in promoting endurance, strength, power and speed. The bodybuilders generally use this for building workout intensity

The anaerobic exercises are meant to increase the metabolic rate permitting one to burn excess calories as the body recovers from exercise owing to an increase in the body temperature and excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) as the exercise ends. 

Some of the prominent examples of the anaerobic exercises are:

  • Isometric exercise
  • Weight Training
  • Sprinting
  • Interval Training

In addition to this, there are another two kinds of fitness that you need to stress on. 

  • Muscle Strengthening

Stronger muscles implies that these are more powerful and can do bigger jobs such as lifting the heaviest weights or that can work for longer periods without getting exhausted too easily. Weight training or resistance training or even the simplest of the exercises like pushups are two ways that you can do to strengthen your muscles

  • Flexibility

Flexibility is considered as an outcome of physical activity and stretching is the most effective way. When your muscles are in use especially while exercising, they are repeatedly shortened. These muscles need slow and regular stretching for counteracting the repeated shortening that occurs via other activities. 

Diet & Body Fitness

Your diet plays a vital role on your fitness results and health. Both diet and fitness go hand in hand which we often do not want to hear to believe. You cannot really out-train a bad diet.

Thus, what you are actually consuming will impact how your body is fuelled for exercise and recovers later. Your diet also impacts the way it processes all the calories that you enjoy eating.

That being said, it is not just the calories that matter. The breakdown of the macronutrients in every meal is also important. The breakdown consists of the percentage of protein, fats and carbohydrates. You need to make sure that you are consuming enough protein as you start developing the lean muscles and improve your strength. 

Another thing in regards to diet that you need to maintain and often people tend to overlook is the portion size. It is one of the most common culprits when we take fitness and diet into account. You need to maintain a portion size preferably less but full of nutrients. If you are looking forward to improving your overall health and receiving the best results from your training, you need to ensure that your diet is properly maintained and it is very much essential. 

Drugs, Alcohol & Fitness

It is a fact that the drugs are detrimental to both long-term and short-term health. It can lead to addiction. However, they possess a specific impact on fitness. Below is a petite list of the major ways the recreational drugs will be responsible for affecting your fitness:

  • Breathing – The depressants such as Cannabis, Codeine and Heroin affect the capacity of your lungs and narrows down the airways. This makes it much more difficult to receive oxygen rich blood supply to your muscles while exercising. 
  • Coordination & Concentration – The depressant drugs also affect your alertness thus making you pretty slow to react. On the contrary, the stimulants aim to make you restless and irritable. 
  • Heart – The stimulant drugs like cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA or Molly) and speed expands your heart rate thus, exerting undue stress on your heart. 

Comprehensively, drugs can play mayhem with your behaviour and brain. This would affect your body, mood and mind. If you aim to get good results through training, then you must not mess with drugs that could inhibit the results but prove to be potentially dangerous or fatal.

You might find it tempting to reach for a refreshing glass of wine or beer post hard workout. But there are a couple of concerns regarding alcohol on your fitness before you go for the next glass.

  • Dehydration – Alcohol is considered diuretic. This means that it accelerates the loss of fluids and the other electrolytes that are deliberately needed by the body. 
  • Weight Gain – You must know that alcohol is high in calories.  Additionally, it is low in nutritional value. So, if you are aiming for weight loss, you are probably ruining the results of what you might have received from your previous workouts. This damage is possible in consumption of just a few glasses only. 
  • Reduction In Muscle Growth – Alcohol is known to interfere in the growth of your muscles. It also hampers the ability to maintain your muscles. 

That being said, you might wonder if you have to completely cut out alcohol and promise to never touch it. Well, not exactly. If you want to enjoy a couple of drinks and still not hamper yourself or your goals, then you need to educate yourself and learn how to consume in moderation. This way you will never miss parties or be ungrouped with and still move towards your goal. 

Benefits Of The Physical Activity/Fitness

Considering the importance of fitness, you must know by now that staying active is one of the prime ways to keep our bodies healthy. Have you ever understood the fact that it can also improve the general well being and quality of life? 

Below are just a couple of most important ways in which fitness can help you feel better:

  • Fitness Is Considered To Be A Natural Mood Lifter

If you have already made fitness a part of your daily life, then we are sure you must have noticed how your mood stays all throughout your day. Conducting physical activity on a daily basis can relieve you from anger, stress, anxiety and depression. It is just like a happy pill bearing no side effects. 

  • Keeps You Physically Fit & Able

If you are not indulging yourself in regular physical activities, slowly your body will lose its strength and ability to function properly. Additionally, you will also lose your stamina. Exercise is responsible for increasing the muscle strength, that in turn increases the ability to conduct other physical activities. 

  • Keeps The Doctor Away!

Sedentary activities, especially sitting for longer hours can increase the risk of heart diseases and can lead to stroke. One study has revealed that adults who watch television for over 4 hours a day, are prone to 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease. 

On the other hand, if you are more active, then it can help you in the following ways:

  • Lowering your blood pressure
  • Boosting your levels of good cholesterol
  • Improving blood flow or blood circulation
  • Keeping your weight under check
  • Preventing bone loss that might lead to a medical situation known as “Osteoporosis”.

Adding up such good things can lead to lesser medical expenses, interventions and medicines in  your life. 

  • Helps You To Live Longer

It is proven that the more you are active leaving behind the sedentary life, the more you can expect to live. It has been seen that those individuals who are physically active and maintain a healthy weight lives up to seven years longer than those who are inactive and obese. The best part is that the extra years that you live are the healthier years. 

If you stay active, this means that you are taking serious steps towards preventing chronic diseases that are associated with aging. Thus, the active adults maintain their quality of life and independence as long as they age. 

Some of the other fitness facts and engaging in physical activity are:

  • Helps you to quit smoking and remain tobacco-free. 
  • Boosts your energy level so that you can work actively. 
  • Helps you to manage tension and stress. 
  • Offers you a positive attitude and outlook.
  • Helps you to have a more sound sleep and makes you fall asleep faster.
  • Improves your self confidence and self image. 
  • You can spend more time outdoors. 

Treating Fitness Right
The real thing – Know about fitness! Fitness must never be your main priority at the end of the day. You must focus more on your career and personal life. Fitness must be treated as a way to enhance your lifestyle. The American Heart Association recommends that an individual must indulge in 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity every week. You will be able to knock that out in just 30 minutes per day and that you have to be active 5 days in a week. Every minute of the moderate to vigorous activity that you indulge in counts towards your goal.