Physical fitness, a part of your daily life
Throughout this site I have touched on what physical fitness means to you and the need to get active or stay active.
Physical fitness has many benefits to the human body and if you are thinking about becoming active you should always consult your doctor first just in case you have health concerns that need to be addressed.
Becoming active doesn't have to mean competing in a marathon or working out in a gym for hours. It can simply be walking with a friend each evening or joining a class at your local community center. But whatever you choose, consistency is the key.
Of course taking the first step is always the hardest but once that decision is made and a routine established you can start on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
Getting physically active is about your heart, lungs and muscles working harder. It's not about keeping up with anyone, it's about challenging yourself so that in the weeks and months ahead you are able to do more and feel better about yourself.
If you do decide to work out in a gym, I always recommend that you get a trainer for a short while at least. A trainer will help you get started with your exercise program as well as teach you how to use the equipment properly. This will prevent you from getting injured. It's very easy to think you know what you're doing only to pull a muscle or wrench your neck.
A great thing about a trainer is that they will push you to work and even though you may have a few choice words for them during your workout you will thank them for it later on when you start seeing results.
I also see a lot of the older generation walking in the malls first thing in the morning. It can get very cold here in the winter and trudging through the snow and ice is not always the safest thing so going to a mall is perfect. Just think of all the window shopping you can do as well!
Benefits of Physical Fitness
A recent study funded by the National Institute of Health found a correlation between stabilized body weight and a lower presence of cardiovascular disease risk factors 1
A great reason to add physical fitness to your everyday life, maintaining a healthy weight loss has clear benefits.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important to all of us, including our children and if we're active our children will also be active. In addition to the emotional factors involved, excessive weight has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, joint pain as well as other health problems.
Physical fitness can also help you feel less fatigued, help with stress levels and the digestive system not to mention less time in front of the TV. You maintain your flexibility and for the older generation staying active could mean less injury.
Take time to smell the roses! Becoming active means you notice more about the world around you like the changing seasons.
Any exercise routine should incorporate the following things:
Warm up, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and cool down.
Some people like to exercise before an evening meal or first thing in the morning but whatever you choose consistency is the key.
People always have good intentions, especially in January when we've all had a little too much to eat over the holiday season or if a planned trip is scheduled and getting into that bathing suit looks a little harder than first planned. But becoming physically active should be part of a long term plan not a fleeting decision. Remember, no pain, no gain.
Understanding the effects of exercise
In addition to the many health benefits of regular exercise, there can be some negative repercussions if not supported by proper nutrition.
Cells need oxygen to survive. Unfortunately, one of the byproducts of aerobic respiration-the cells utilization of oxygen-is free radical formation. The same will turn a cut apple brown.
These highly charge molecules attack healthy tissue and can create long term damage.
With a regular, competitive level exercise program, athletes process more oxygen on a daily basis than the average person. So consequently, they also produce more free radical damage which could lead to a depleted immune system.
Published in The Journal of Sports Science, strenuous bouts of prolonged exercise are associated with depressed immune cell function. 2
Be a good sport! Whether you exercise for health and fitness or competitive sports, your nutrition is extremely important for performance and recovery. This is because athletes and physically active people often have greater nutrient demands to maintain endurance, aerobic ability, and complete rapid recovery from the demands of an active lifestyle.
In the coming weeks I will be discussing nutritional products to help you achieve your fitness goals. However, if you can not wait that long just contact me via e-mail and I will pass that information along.
2. exercise,nutrition and immune function; Gleeson, M., Nieman, D.C., Pedersen, B.K., Journal of Sports Science, January 22, 2004., pages 115-125
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