Know Why Physical Fitness Is Important

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Physical fitness is described as a state of psychological well-being and having the ability to carry out tasks without being under fatigue.  This is achieved through a combination of regular physical exercise, proper diet and practicing good health.  Most people will mistake being fit with being skinny or losing weight but it is not. Staying physically fit means that you are able to maintain an optimum weight, stay healthy and not to be at risk of getting health problems.  It enables one to have the ability to enjoy their life to the fullest.

Being physically fit is important to everyone, so stay active always.  Nowadays, with modern technology, more people are becoming less active, and this has led to lifestyle diseases and other chronic health problems.  It is recommended that you should work out several times and be active always. There are 5 components of physical fitness and whatever fitness program you do engage in should improve these components and benefit the body. These components are:

Muscle Strength

This refers to the ability of the muscle to be able to lift and carry heavy objects.  Without muscular strength then the body becomes weak and you are unable to exert force during any activity. To increase muscle strength, one needs to train against resistance by use of weights and doing more reps.

Cardiovascular Endurance

This is the ability of the circulatory and respiratory system to supply fuel to the body during sustained physical activity such as jogging, swimming, running and cycling.  The heart and lungs supply the body with the oxygen needed by the muscles and ensure that there is enough for the work the muscles do.   To improve cardiovascular endurance do actives that will keep your heart rate elevated at a safe level for an extended period of time.

Muscle Endurance

This is the ability of the muscles to contract for an extended period of time without getting fatigued.  To improve muscular endurance one needs to train with light weights so as to work on the muscle fibers, and cardio-respiratory such as jogging, bicycling, dancing or walking.

Flexibility

This is a range of motion of the joints and muscles without pain or stiffness. Without flexibility, the joints would be stiff and have limited growth hence risking you to injuries.  To improve your flexibility do activities that will lengthen the muscles such as basic stretching, exercises or swimming.

Body Fat Composition

This is the amount of fat in your body.  It is important to know your body composition so as to manage your weight and stay healthy.  The average man has about 18 to 24% body fat while for the average woman it will be about 25 to 31% body fat.  If you do have a high-fat percentage than lean muscle mass, then you are at risk of heart diseases, strokes, certain cancers, and diabetes.  To reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass, you need to do regular strength training and cardiovascular exercises together with a healthy diet.

There are various reasons why people are now choosing to become physically fit, and these include:

  • Improves your cardiovascular health

When you are active or physically fit, it increases your heart rate, which makes it work harder and the heart becomes efficient to perform its duty over time.  With a healthy heart and cardiovascular system, you reduce the risk of getting heart diseases.

  • Strong muscles, bones, and joints

Being physically fit means that you have strong muscles and joints hence lowering the risk of injury.  Doing strength training helps tone the muscles and builds lean muscles and these results in the body burning more calories.  With strong muscle, you have less impact on the joints hence being able to engage more during movements.  A physically fit body slows down the bone density loss process, and this reduces the risk of getting osteoporosis.

  • Reduces depression and anxiety

Fitness acts as a mood elevator by boosting your energy levels and enhancing the production of endorphins which helps reduce depression and anxiety levels.  It can be an alternative to taking anti-depressants.

  • Decreases back pain

Studies have shown that physical fitness is an effective treatment to back pain.  As you exercise, you are increasing muscle endurance and strength, and improving posture and flexibility which help prevent back pain.

  • Improves self-esteem

Keeping fit enables one to have a good body shape hence feeling better about his appearance and boosts self-confidence.  Self-confidence is a character that one needs to improve their personality and also essential in building one’s life.

  • Increases energy levels

Performing physical exercises increases your energy levels even when you are sick.   It is a better alternative than taking stimulants such as energy drinks or coffee.

  • Helps in losing weight

Visceral fat, which is the internal fat, is harmful to the body as it causes various diseases such as heart diseases.  This fat can be reduced when you do physical exercises and make the heart stronger and improves the contractile function.  Regular exercising goes hand in hand with eating a healthy diet so as to enhance the fat loss process.  The body uses the stored fat and glycogen to produce energy, which helps sustain you.

  • Lowers the blood pressure

There is a rise of people having high blood pressure amongst the young, middle-aged and older adults and this is due to a lot of stress.  Remain physically and mentally fit prevents blood pressure from rising to high levels as it also reduces stress levels.

  • Increase your life span

Studies show that people who engage in physical activities several times each week have a 40% lower risk of dying early than those who don’t exercise at all.  As you increase your physical fitness levels you increase lifespan benefits hence living longer.

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Arlene Semeco
Arlene is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Sports Nutritionist by The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). She completed an MSc in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University and a BSc in Food and Nutrition from The University of Alabama. Arlene has worked in supplement development, sports nutrition and is currently working in clinical nutrition counseling for a rehabilitation hospital. She is a 3-time Olympic swimmer and loves running and paddle boarding. With her expertise in the world of sports, she has been able to apply her knowledge of nutrition to help athletes improve performance and achieve their goals in different sports.

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