What is Fitness?
What is fitness and where do we go to learn about fitness? Fitness is our ability to function with alertness and energy over the course of our daily activities. We have so many places to turn for fitness information, that it would be impossible to cover all the possibilities in one article. However, we’ll cover the most common places to look, and let the reader take it from there.
You pick up the magazines each day, and you’re bombarded with health and fitness information. Advertisements and articles that are designed to impart much needed information to the reader about the state of fitness and health in America today, and what we as responsible citizens should do. I want you to stop, and think for just one moment. How do you determine your current fitness and wellness levels? Does your regular doctor ask you each time you go if you believe yourself to be fit and well? Probably not. Nor does he give you any method for determining the status on your own. Fitness centres abound in this country, and most are staffed with counsellors who can test your fitness level. What about your wellness level? Are they one and the same? They are not one and the same, yet they rely heavily on each other to keep you healthy.
Being fit and being well are totally different conditions. Your wellness rating is dependent upon your immune system, and what vitamins, supplements, and nutrition you provide for your immune system. Fit people can sometimes be unwell. And well people can sometimes be unfit. However, when you do combine the two, and use sound principles based on clean living, exercise, and healthy eating, you attain a state of equilibrium where you are both fit and well.
Most individuals do not take the time to completely understand the advantages of being both fit and well. We read and absorb the information we’re given through the media and health organisations, without ever pondering if we’re receiving all the information we need, or simply the part that is profitable to be seen or heard. Fitness gyms need your monthly fees in order to remain operational. They have no real concern about the condition of your immune system. Physical fitness is a condition of the body alone. Hospitals and doctors need you as a patient in order to remain operational; they want you to know you need to be fit and well, but often leave out important pieces that affect your wellness and, therefore, your ability to be fit.
What about eating habits? What about vitamins? What role does our daily intake play in our health, our wellness, and our fitness? More than you have been lead to believe or understand. The body’s ability to remain well under anything other than ideal conditions is a direct result of the nutrition received on a daily basis. The mind’s ability to remain well is, again, a direct result of our nutrition intake. For instance, the human brain doesn’t develop well without the necessary input of protein in our daily diet. No protein, no intelligence. No intelligence, then none of the other states is attainable.
Our spiritual input is a determining factor when establishing our fitness level. We all need the benefit of spiritual reflection, as a way of cleansing ourselves of the stress of our daily life. Spirituality is a way of assuring ourselves of a renewing, and rebirth of ourselves as humans. Fitness encompasses our body’s health, as a whole and in this respect it includes the mind. It is a condition of the whole body. Fitness is a condition of wellness for our physical body.
Sources For Fitness Information
The major sources of fitness information are available to everyone, everywhere. Libraries, the internet, your physical fitness instructor, and your health teachers are all viable avenues of information sources. The library contains more information about health and fitness than you could possibly read in a year’s time. There are magazines, periodicals, medical journals, and all sorts of books written on ways to become fit, to maintain fitness, or to participate in fitness activities. There are sources of information that explain the benefits of being fit, the physical benefits, the mental benefits, the social benefits, and the self-esteem and emotional benefits. The library will also usually have video and audio information available on almost any topic covered by the reading material. They may even have fitness tapes available for viewing. Often, the library provides the opportunity for the low-income to access materials that otherwise would not be available. Video and audio tapes are examples of this opportunity.
The internet opens more windows on fitness than the library, since the internet is a compilation of many libraries, news articles, newspapers, and individual input. You have only to type in the word fitness using one of the available search engines, and suddenly you’ve got more sources of information than you can research. The search engines often return information in the order of actual relevance to your search words. So bear that in mind as you search. The first couple of pages will contain the most relevant information on fitness. You can locate information about fitness, local fitness centre locations, and instructors who specialise in one-on-one fitness plans.
Your local school physical education instructor and health teachers are invaluable sources of fitness information, in that they have an education in fitness. They are privy to the most sought after reliable sources of real fitness benefits. Many of the articles you will find, and much of the information you read, is not 100% accurate, ask a teacher, or instructor actually involved in the fitness process, you are going to receive much more accurate feedback
Governments across the world publishes massive quantities of information about the fitness of their respective countries, from many different perspectives. The United States Department of Agriculture is responsible for determining the daily recommended allowances, and as such, accumulates much information about fitness alternatives, the state of fitness in the United States, and how well individual participate in fitness programs.
Past these sources, check out your local fitness centre. Quite often they have random information posted, current magazines, and periodicals that address current fitness issues and often offer interested persons the chance to observe fitness in action.
What Are Your Fitness Needs?
As we go about our busy lives, our fitness needs do not often come to mind. In fact, probably the only thought that is given to our fitness needs relates to the 15 pounds we think we need to lose. But even when we are fairly fit, we have needs that help us to sustain that fitness. Have you ever given thought to what those needs are?
Meditation, an exercise recommended for everyone, but especially those of us with hectic, stressful lifestyles, is defined as an engagement in contemplation, especially of a spiritual or devotional nature. Meditation has been shown to relieve stress, and promote overall good health, by simply reflecting upon our day, and finding happiness within ourselves.
Your nutritional needs levels are dependent upon your eating habits and whether you use daily supplements of vitamins and minerals in order for you to sustain optimum physical health. Much discussion is centred on this topic right now, because our nation faces obesity problems of epidemic proportions. Our eating habits make up a large portion of our nutritional daily intake. What we consume goes a long way to keeping our bodies fit.
Do we understand what our nutritional requirements are, how to fulfil those requirements, and how to look for real nutritional value in our foods? I’m not sure that nutrition has been successfully addressed in its own right. We hear nutrition in relation to our vitamin intake, our fortified cereals and milk, and in the context that we need “nutritional value” from our food choices. But what really is nutrition when applied to our daily bodily functions? Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes. Quite often, our vitamin and mineral needs outweigh our caloric needs. In those instances, we turn to manufactured vitamins and minerals to fill the gap.
Alternative medicine options such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, herbal cures, and holistic medicine are all ways we can help to keep ourselves fit. All of these alternative healing approaches offer ways to incorporate their use into staying fit and healthy. Of the examples given here, chiropractic and acupuncture are becoming more widely accepted as complements to the traditional forms of exercise and nutrition. Herbal cleansing and healing are used by many to provide for ways for body keep itself in a state of fitness and optimal health.
What role does exercise play in this process? Well, exercise conditions our body to keep it in optimal shape. To keep muscles functioning correctly and build muscle mass. The more muscle mass we have, the more calories we burn. The more calories we burn, the better our metabolism is at using up the calories we take in through food consumption. Can you begin to see how our body is really a well functioning machine? It’s a continual circle of events, one feeding off the other. When all the events are coming together properly, we are healthy, happy individuals.
Today, we must determine how much nourishment we need, how much physical exercise we need, and how best to accomplish those ends. Calorie needs, nutritional needs, physical needs, and education about those needs now is information we should all understand, at least as it applies to our ability to maintain our fitness levels. If you will visit your local doctor, library, or fitness centre, there is massive amounts of information available to help educate and to help you make good health choices, no matter what the ultimate goal, fitness maintenance, or fitness improvement.
Energy Levels for the Fit
Fitness itself is defined as the ability of the human body to function with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue and with ample energy to engage in leisure activities, and to meet physical stresses.
Fitness refers to the condition of our physical body and mental fitness would of course be addressing our mental state. When our bodies are physically fit, we should have enough energy to address all of the activities that are faced by our peers, and at the end of the day, still have some energy left for our families.
Learning to incorporate fitness into our daily routine is where the biggest obstacle to fitness is placed. Many of us would truly benefit from being more physically fit; we simply do not want to devote the time it would take to condition our bodies. We would rather sit at the table and chat with our friends or tune in to the latest hit television series, than devote thirty minutes each day to our health.
Walking is one of the most productive forms of exercise, and causes a tremendous increase in our energy levels. The benefit seen from adding just 20 minutes of walking to your daily routine are unbelievable.
I can attest to the tremendous increase in energy, as a participant in walking for exercise. I lost a total of 74 lbs. in one year, by simply adding walking to may routine. I had been dieting for almost two months, with very little in the way of results. Walking was suggested by my physician, and I’ve never been so impressed. My energy levels were three times what they were prior to beginning the walking, and I truly enjoyed the peace of mind that I achieved during those daily walks.
I think exercise and being fit does something for a person’s self-esteem, and the mind. Deeper forms of relaxation accompany physical fitness. When meditation is incorporated into the routine, the energy levels continue to soar. When you are able to relax, and truly enjoy the way your body feels, and the accomplishment of a day’s tasks, you can renew physically for the next day, overnight. That’s one of the greatest benefits of exercise and fitness, tremendous energy.
Physically, what is happening to us as we become more fit? It’s a process that has been addressed so many times, but we fail to make the connection most of the time. Our metabolic process is a finely tuned process. When we have it working at maximum capacity, we feel great. We’re eating right, exercising, and our metabolism is making the most of those calories we’re consuming. It fires up and runs, into overdrive if necessary, in order to keep that energy coming. It’s a concept our forefathers really didn’t need to understand, because their living conditions kept them physically fit. Today, however we’ve become quite sedentary, and our livelihood no longer requires us to physically work, we do the mental work all day, and sit while we are on the job. No physical activity interferes with our preprogrammed way of living. Our bodies still function just like our grandfather’s needed. But we’ve changed the process, our bodies haven’t.
That’s why we still need to keep physically fit, If not through our work, we need recreational routines to accomplish that task. It will keep us healthy, running at top speed, and feeling great!