FITNESS EXERCISES: UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS


Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come (1 Timothy 4: 8 NLT)

Exercises! We all know what exercises are. There are misconceptions about fitness. Many people think that fitness is tantamount to being free from sickness. People come for pre-employment and are certified fit. There is more to fitness than just being free of sickness. Fitness can be defined as a state in which the body can perform up to its realisable potential. More specifically, it is their ability to perform daily task vigorously and alertly and still have energy left over for enjoying leisure time activities and meeting emergency demands. Capacity to endure, to bear up, to withstand stress, to carry on in circumstances where an unfit person could not continue is a major basis for good health and well-being.

This definition is quite self-explanatory. It implies that if you find yourself beginning to slow down, lacking zest, and finding it difficult to cope with stress, you need to pay attention to these series of fitness exercises. Fitness activities, therefore are ways of fine-tuning the body for optimal performance. Fitness exercises involve the major organs of the body, that is, the heart, the lungs and the muscles. And since what we do with our bodies affect what we can do with our minds, fitness exercises influence, to some degree, mental alertness and emotional stability. It is important to note that fitness is influenced by age, sex, heredity, personal habits, exercise and eating habits. It is only the last three factors we have control over. For this discourse, we shall limit ourselves to exercises. There are mainly three parts to fitness exercises; aerobics, strength training and flexibility.

Aerobic (Cardiopulmonary Endurance): Aerobic exercises increase breathing and heart rate by repeated contractions of large muscle groups. This exercise enhances the capacity of the body to deliver oxygen to body tissues, and remove waste over a period. This form of exercises helps to burn off calories and to lose weight. Some of the exercises included here are jogging, walking, biking, swimming, etc.

Strength Training: This helps to build stronger muscles. The body is primarily made up of lean mass (muscles, bone, vital tissues and organs) and fat mass. An optimal ratio of fat mass to lean mass is a reliable indicator of fitness. The right kind of exercises will help decrease body fat and increase or maintain muscle mass. Strength training uses existing muscle strength to build lean muscle mass by causing targeted muscles to contract and the attached tendons to repeatedly tug against the bones. This tugging action under bones has an indirect effect of stimulating growth in the bones helping to reduce the incidence of osteoporosis.

Flexibility Training (Stretching): This is all about moving joints and muscles towards the full range of motion. Stretching helps prevent injuries, aids flexibility and improves relaxation. Stretching could be a nice way of revitalising our rejuvenating yourself if you had had to stay behind the desk a long while. It could also be helpful in relieving back ache and arthritis.

 

Before You Start Your Walkout

If you are under thirty-five and in good health, you may not need to see a doctor before beginning your exercise program. But if you are over thirty-five and have been inactive for several years, you should consult your physician, who may or may not recommend a graded exercise test. Other conditions that indicate a need for medical clearance include high blood pressure, any form of heart disease, a positive family history of stroke or heart disease, frequent dizzy spells, extreme breathlessness after mild exertions, bone disease, severe muscular, ligament or tendon problems, and other known or suspected diseases. Vigorous exercise involves minimal health risk for people in good health or those following a doctor’s advice. Far greater risks are present by habitual inactivity and obesity.

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