Achieving and Maintaining Fitness Is Your Goal for Healthy Living
There’s a lot of talk these days of being fit, but there are many different opinions and free health news to determine what fitness really is. As a basic understanding, fitness is when a person’s heart, lungs and muscles work together at the highest possible level of efficiency, but depending on the individual reaching their goals will require different methods.
Before you embark on a quest for fitness you have to determine what fitness means to you and whether your goals are simply to lose weight, gain muscle or improve your overall health. You will also need to decide if joining a gym and letting someone else direct your workouts is going to be for you or if you have enough dedication to be able to work out a fitness program on you own.
Whichever you decide, you will need to make a promise to yourself. Setting your goal is not a promise. It is a goal. In order to reach that goal you have to dedicate a minimum of 20 minutes a day, three days a week. Understand there are three basic parts of a fitness program:
All three of those areas need to be in tune in order to reach the level of fitness that you have determined you want or need.
Focus on Your Goal
When you first begin a fitness regimen it may be easy to lose sight of your goal. Time is only as important as you make it out to be and promising yourself may work for some. For others they will need to make the goal known to others. It’s one thing to let yourself down if you fall short of your goal, but it can be tougher to admit to someone else that you are failing in your dedication. When you start to feel tired or believe you don’t have enough time to continue your workouts, simply remind yourself how much better you feel since you started your workout.
Physical Fitness Has Many Levels
There are essentially five aspects of fitness and each of those aspects serves a specific purpose.
- Cardiovascular workouts affect the lungs, heart and circulation
- Muscular system workouts use heavier weights and fewer repetitions
- Muscle endurance requires more repetitions using less weight
- Flexibility requires movement of the full range of muscles
- Fitness of motor control improves balance and agility and associated movement
You have probably heard that once you reach your physical fitness goal if you stop you will lose what you have achieved. This is true. It has been shown that muscles no longer receiving the attention they were accustomed to can quickly lose their strength and stamina. While you don’t necessarily need to continue on your previous workout routine, the affected muscle groups need to be used at least every three days.
This is best accomplished by using the same type of exercise that helped you reach your goal. For example, if you used weight training to tone your muscle, you should use weight training to maintain their condition. If you used cardio exercises to improve your overall health, you will need to maintain your health through similar cardio workouts.
Doing Things Right Can Prevent Injuries
Everyone who exercises has heard of the need to warm up before getting right to a high-intensity workout. Your muscles have to be ready for action and light stretching can get them in the mood for heavier activity. But it isn’t just the warm up that is critical to reducing injury while trying to get fit.
Many have fitness routines they follow, but to remain healthy that routine should be alternated to prevent overworking specific muscles. Resting between exercises can also help prevent injuries and using a cool-down period at the end of your fitness training can help muscles relax and reduce the chance of cramping.
Fitness Is More than Exercise
It takes more than working out at the gym or at home to become or stay fit. You may appear healthy, but fitness also depends on your diet. You have likely heard the expression that you are what you eat and considering fitness this couldn’t be truer.
Swinging past the fast-food restaurant on your way home from the gym could potentially ruin everything you just worked for. When developing a fitness plan you will also need to develop a diet plan. Even if losing weight is not you goal, eating the right foods will help you achieve your fitness goal. Muscles require protein and you will burn calories when you exercise.
Burning More Calories
When it comes to basic weight loss, burning more calories than you eat is usually the best measure. However, you will need to monitor your weight as you do your heart rate. There are many people who over-exercise and look fit but lack the proper diet to be healthy.
Remember that fitness is an ongoing journey. If you are out of shape, chances are it didn’t happen overnight and you shouldn’t expect to return to your previous fitness level overnight as well. It is an ongoing process of motivation and self education by staying in touch via an online health news site that will help get you into the shape you desire, but it will require additional work to maintain the level of fitness you desire.