When we define fitness, the usual concept that comes to our mind is probably exercise or aerobics. However, do you know that there are two types of aerobics? One is the so-called aerobic fitness and the other is anaerobic.
Aerobic fitness is basically the kind of exercise that requires you to improve your endurance or to perform work in a prolonged time. The term “aerobic” itself, literally refers that one needs air or oxygen in order to exercise. Examples are walking, running, climbing, biking, swimming and diving. In contrast, to anaerobic is more on establishing balance, flexibility and power such as yoga (meditation), bench press and stretching.
Assuming that you perform a 3 km run, observe how your body reacts afterwards. You sweat a lot. Your heart beat maybe is faster than the normal pace. Your muscles ache. Isn’t it? When you do aerobic workout, our body acquires much oxygen. It passes through our lungs then transferred to the blood and muscles through our circulatory system. Oxygen is needed in the production of hemoglobin, the chemical responsible for the red pigmentation of the blood. This also keeps us warm. Another benefit of aerobic fitness is that it helps us in burning fats and speeds up metabolism. It is also the reason why we feel hungry after.
Setting aside, we need to know also about the concept Vo2 Max or the maximal oxygen uptake. This indicates how much oxygen is taken in during an aerobic activity. To measure, the usual mechanic is to perform treadmill, running or walking for at least 12 minutes. The oxygen used during the maximal effort is the Vo2 Max. They say the higher Vo2 Max the healthier an individual is.
To maximize your Vo2 Max while resting it is advisable to eat fresh vegetables and fruits and to be hydrated always.
Becoming healthy is an investment. The healthier we are means the less chances of medical and hospitalization out-of-pocket expenditure. Therefore, it is a must that before we do something in our body or exert much effort, we must know and consult the right person or institution that really knows how to define fitness is. One way to be sure is to look for a fitness training certification.
This certificate shows that institution granting the certificate, the name of the successful trainer, the kind of training he received, the date (when the certification was awarded) and to some extent its validity or duration. Some are either renewable, while others are for a lifetime.
So for example, you enrolled in a gym that is into flexibility and cardio-vascular it is important to note if the institution and its trainer are licensed to conduct such running and bending exercises.
In lieu of the certificate, other institutions or individuals seek to have a four year college degree in Physical Education, Sports Science, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Other countries to some extent mandated these courses to have professional licenses. Hence, to acquire such one needs to pass a written, physical or (combination of) both examinations.
Other prefers to have trainers who are former athletes especially Olympians, coaches, dancers and even models.
Aside from giving credibility having the so-called fitness certificate connotes that this person or trainer is physically and mentally fit to serve as our mentors. Their mere presence, posture or simply how they present themselves should already speak for themselves. Their knowledge and skills are passed on them either through their vast experiences, formal and informal learnings and they are expected to continue to be updated in their craft.
Therefore, being trained by a professional only means that we can be sure also of our safety.
To define fitness is to identify what is healthy. Sometimes, our notion of fitness or well being is someone who is free from diseases and able to carry out his or her daily activities. However, it is just piece of the puzzle. There are many factors or components of fitness we must look into.
Different authors have different set of fitness components. Listed below are the most common and cut across various sources.
First is speed. This refers to the ability to move from one place to another at a particular rate e.g. 1km/hr etc. Other related terms with speed are quickness, motion, movement and even agility. However, the latter is considered to be another component because one can be agile without moving or going to a different place. For example, able to do the pivot motion especially in basketball or using side to side steps move in boxing or the ability to run in small circles while dribbling the soccer ball.
Second we need to acquire strength or our ability to create force either by pushing or pulling objects. Other terms that are commonly interchanged with are power (or the maximum muscular contraction in an explosive manner e.g. the initial dive kick for swimming or the initial jump in a running event); and endurance (or the ability to withstand stress and pressure such as in using the parallel beams in gymnastics).
Third to stabilize our speed and strength we need to develop a sense of balance, or the ability to control the body either in motion or in station. For example, in American football, one has to have these three in order to make a touchdown. Speed is to outrun defenders. Power is needed so that defenders would not be successful. Balance is to avoid oneself from falling outside the lines.
Other fitness experts include cardio-pulmono vascular strength or the muscle power of internal organs particularly the heart and lungs. This is crucial especially for aero or water sports.
Now before you engage to a streneous activity ask yourself, will you acquire the so-called components of fitness.
To define fitness one must understand that it is more than the physical aspect. It does not mean that if you are slim or muscular, you are already fit. Looks can be deceiving as they say.
A more scientific approach is to check whether a person is fit or not is to compute for his or her BMI or Body Mass Index. There are four factors to consider here: the age of the individual, his or her sex, height and then weight. Once one obtained the result one could check whether he or she falls to a particular category: underweight, normal, overweight and obese.
Bear in mind that two of its factors are relatively constant: sex and height. Therefore, one must ensure that he or she falls to the normal range. In order to do that, the so-called healthy living should be adapted. Although, it is a cliché already, eating nutritious foods, drinking lots of water, having a good sleep and exercising are still good stepping stones to be in shape. Some even buy their own home fitness or equipment or enroll themselves in to gym classes.
Now moving forward, to be considered fit one must also possess a healthy state of mind, acceptable social disposition, and financial capability.
A healthy state of mind refers to our mental health: “A sound mind and a sound body”. Basically, it refers on how people handle their emotions especially when confronted with stressful moments such as loss of a loved one, etc. A fit person knows when to be sad, to be happy and to what occasions should he or she show them.
On the other hand, acceptable social disposition refers on our social skills on how we deal with people. Even though one is perceived to be healthy and does not have any bad record of misconduct, etc; however, if one cannot communicate well or felt that is always been misunderstood, he or she is labeled as unfit – unfit to work in such environment.
Financially capable is self-explanatory. One must learn how to control his or her expenses. It is the same way of demonstrating self – discipline especially in buying or wasteful spending such as gambling.
At the end of the day, the notion of who is fit remains to be subjective.
Many of us might have neglected this one fact that our parents have been teaching since we were little – to drink plenty of water. Eight glasses is the daily recommended amount but it would not hurt if you will consume much more than that. Keeping our body hydrated will help us define fitness.
Little did everyone know that this crystal clear drink, which is often forgotten and neglected and almost always lose the competition to colored beverages such as iced tea, soda and juices, has one too many benefits and it will be very practical to start chugging those ice cold water in the fridge if only for better health.
One of the most common advantage that water has is that it aids our body to flush all those impurities, keeping our organs functioning well which in turns keepds us in tip-top shape, through metabolism. When you keep your body’s water supply regular and sufficient, it will in turn get rid of all the unnecessary water it is retaining, which inconveniently lie dormant around your ankles, your thighs or arms or your tummy, thereby resulting to considerable weight loss, very elementary, right?
Another great function water has in our body is keeping our skin hydrated. Who wants to sport a dry, unhealthy skin when all you need to do is drink up from your water bottle and you could be on your way to a beautiful, well-hydrated skin minus the additional dent on your budget! It also flushes out all the impurities from your skin, keeping it clear and glowing complexion. Apart from that it also prevents formation of wrinkles and keeps your skin looking younger.
In the same manner, water might just also be considered a natural appetite depressor. Notice how you quickly your appetite decreases when you have had way too many glasses of water after a meal.
So don’t you think it is about time you increase your daily water consumption? For a healthier, leaner and fitter, you might seriously consider that proposition.
The greatest resource of any institution is its people. Therefore, in order to keep at par with the ever changing world, it is the responsibility of both the organization and the individual to keep each other in good condition, in harmonious relation and to translate this in dream into a realization. To be precise, a company sees to it that it is able to provide the best working condition or environment for its personnel such as giving a conducive a work schedule, incentives, and leave credits.
On the other hand, each employee should be accountable for his or her state of well being. In fact, some of them find time to go the gym or yoga classes; join fun run or street aerobics, ballroom dancing, sports and other physical activities. Incorporating such activities in their lives makes them a viable workforce. They not only define fitness but (consciously or unconsciously) they relieve out stresses and most importantly they are inculcating a mindset of a healthy lifestyle. Habitually, this will transform as part of their core values – especially discipline. Finally, in the long run, this would define who they are – or simply said it is now a culture of fitness.
The above statements are the ideal ones. But in reality there is a gap. In most situations, we find a stressed out employee, trying to figure out on how to fast track a mountain – high paper works in order to beat the deadline. As a result, some tend to lose focus, become sick, etc. While others, take a little time to unwind by smoking or eating comfort foods such as ice cream, chips, pizza, burger, which are referred as unhealthy because of its fatty content. In fact, there is nothing wrong with it. However, once it becomes a ritual (or every time one finds his or her self in that situation) the same set of actions will proceed, which will have an adverse effect sometime in the future.
Therefore, the so-called work life balance should be instilled among us in order to define fitness within ourselves.
A lot of people are indulging, and mainly attributing their health to different diet fads, aerobics, sports, yoga, and expensive gadgets in getting a remarkable figure. But before we dig any deeper, let us first identify and set parameters to give us a better picture of the so called state of well being .
Health is defined as the state or condition of a sound mind, body, and spirit, thereby maintaining a homeostasis or balance inside the body system, hence, eradicating the body from illnesses, diseases and its detrimental consequences.
On the other hand, fitness refers to the assessment or evaluation of an individual's capacity to perform a task, laboratory diagnostics may also be required for further studies, i.e. fit to work. Hence, it is a condition of suitability or appropriateness of an organism to its environment.
Exercise, as everyone knows, is the finest method of keeping your body in good shape. Swimming, for instance, is an excellent form of exercise. It is considered to be the safest yet most effective routine even to those with medical conditions and limitations.
Swimming is highly therapeutic to those who suffer from obesity, exercise induced asthma and arthritis, since the total weight your body bears lessens by up to 50 - 10% once you submerge in the water. It requires the body to utilize its muscle groups and extremities in a well coordinated movement, thus promoting muscle strength, good blood circulation, and cardiovascular endurance.
Most athletes regard swimming as a form of rehabilitation therapy when suffering from injuries and joint pains because it's less stressful compared to any other forms of exercise. The serene atmosphere around the pool area also provides mental relaxation and a refreshing feeling while swimming.
A sedentary way of life makes a person stagnant, ill and become overweight due to lack of body movement or activity. Swimming, like any other type of exercise, stimulates the body to release endorphins, chemicals produced inside the brain that gives you a euphoric feeling after a days workout, resulting to an optimistic, blissfully fit lifestyle.