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Fitness - Food Pyramid
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So what is Fitness?

Fitness can be defined in many ways, but we would like to say that fitness is ”the ability to function with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to engage in leisure activities, and to meet physical stresses” (Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2004). This could also be referred to the condition of being physically fit. By improving your fitness level, you will feel better physically and mentally. You will sleep better at night, feel more relaxed and at the same time have a lot of energy. Regular exercise can also improve your balance and coordination, boost your immune system, help you to lose weight, prevent chronic health problems and even contribute to a higher life expectancy.


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Integrate exercise in your daily life

The easiest way to get in shape is by doing a little workout every day. You can increase your fitness level just by exercising 15-30 minutes everyday. The most important step is to find ways to integrate exercises in your daily life, so that moving your body becomes natural. It's very simple. Go out for a walk, dance around in your apartment, play with children, walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator etc. Fitness is supposed to be fun! If you like to workout in the gym that's great, but if you prefer moving your body outdoors then do that instead just as long as you enjoy your workout.

Do you need to get in shape?

We are all on different levels when it comes to fitness. If you wonder if you are in good shape or not, you should take a look at the following questions. Can you do the following: Walk uphill wihout getting tired, walk up the stairs to the 4th floor without stopping, getting up from a chair without using your hands, touch your hands on your toes while leaning forward? If you answer no to all questions, then you should consider exercising more. Let's see what kind of exercise that you need to focus on.

Types of exercises

According to the Department of Health & Human Services, health related physical fitness include the following areas: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular endurance, muscle strength, flexibility and body composition. This means that you should be fit in all areas to be in great shape with an optimum fitness level. Different exercises focus on different fitness areas. See below which fitness exercise you need to focus more on:

  • Endurance exercise: will improve you body's ability to supply fuel during workout and improve muscle stamina so they can continue to perform during an exercise without getting tired. Examples: walking, running, dancing or bicycling will get you in shape and build up your endurance.
  • Strength exercise: will improve strength in muscle and bone and include all types of strength and resistance exerciese. Examples: lifting weights and running uphill.
  • Stretching exercise: will improve flexibility in muscles and joints and includes all types of flexibility exercises. Stretching can also increase blood flow o muscles. Examples: swimming and yoga.
  • Balance and coordination exercise: It's important to feel that you have better control when moving your body, which you can get through blance and coordination exercises. Examples: power yoga and dancing.

If you are fit in all areas described above, than congratulations! Keep up the good work. If you have found out that you need to get in shape then jump up and get moving.

Body Composition

Finally, fitness also include having a body composition of a relative amount of fat, muscle, bone and other vital parts. A BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator measures your fat levels based upon your weight and height, but doesn't consider muscles, gender or age and can therefore be somewhat misleading. However, a BMI will give you an idea so check your BMI to find out your body composition.

Remember that it's never too late to start exercising. Find a workout that you enjoy and that focuses on the areas that you need to improve. Let our articles inspire you on your way to fitness.