Fitness: What It Is, Health Benefits, and Getting Started

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Fitness

The good news is that any kind of movement is better than being sedentary, so there’s nothing wrong with starting small and working your way up to longer workouts. Your goal should be no less than 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, but if you can’t start at that level, work up to it (and then past it). While there are many dedicated forms of exercise and fitness for adults, you also want to stay physically active throughout the day by taking the stairs, doing yard work, and playing with your grandkids. Exercise helps the body function, and that includes managing other chronic health problems.

Break a sitting streak
Breaking up sedentary time with light activity can help reduce health risks while netting you stronger muscles and burning calories. Light walking is a great place to start—and a great habit to incorporate into your life. Walk with a loved one or just by yourself while listening to an audio book. Set goals every day and meet them and you’ll start feeling like you’re back in control of your life. If you’ve never set foot in a gym, that’s okay—as long as you start doing something now. If you haven’t been very active or are worried about your health, it’s important to consult your doctor and start slowly.

This can help your journey to fitness seem much less daunting and much more enjoyable. Jesselynn Chuan has led to an interrelation of human fitness and physical attractiveness that has mobilized global fitness and fitness equipment industries. Regarding specific function, fitness is attributed to persons who possess significant aerobic or anaerobic ability (i.e., endurance or strength).

Fitness can also include muscular endurance, which is the ability of a muscle to continue exerting force without tiring. In general, if a person works their muscles consistently and regularly, they will increase in strength. All types of exercise increase the heart’s overall size, but there are significant differences between endurance athletes such as rowers and strength athletes such as football players.

But if your main concern is how to improve cardiovascular health, then you should put a premium on cardiovascular exercises that force your heart and lungs to work harder, sending oxygen to your cells. Strength training, sometimes called resistance training, should be performed two to three times a week. Squats, lunges, push-ups and the exercises performed on resistance machines or using weights or bands help maintain and even build muscle mass and strength. Strength training also helps prevent falls, keep bones strong, lower blood sugar levels, and improve balance.

For example, a standard plank is done by holding yourself parallel to the floor with only your forearms and toes touching the mat. But a still easier method is to do the plank while standing and leaning forward. You put your elbows and forearms on a desk, table or wall while resting on the balls of your feet and keeping your back straight. Everyone can and should do some form of exercise, even if they face severe limitations.

The ACSM is a professional society that certifies personal trainers and sports medicine specialists around the globe. The organization publishes evidence-based position stands about key fitness and sports medicine topics. It also publishes scholarly journals with leading research in the field. Additionally, do muscle-strengthening activity at least two days a week, targeting all of the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms), according to the guidelines. It’s worth noting, however, that high-intensity exercise done too close to bedtime (within about an hour or two) can make it more difficult for some people to sleep and should be done earlier in the day.

Aerobic exercise is the foundation of every fitness program — and for good reason. Also called cardiovascular exercise or cardio, this type of physical activity increases your heart rate and breathing rate, which improves your cardiorespiratory fitness, according to the American Heart Association. Improved fitness drastically reduces the risk of chronic diseases that develop over time, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.

Other chair exercises for seniors include bicep curls (with dumbbells or elastic bands), overhead dumbbell presses, shoulder blade squeezes, calf raises, sit-to-stands (chair squats) and knee extensions. There are a variety of stretching exercises for seniors to suit people of different abilities. If holding poses on your hands and knees is out of the question, you could try a full-body stretch in which you lie on your back, straighten your legs and extend your hands along the floor past your head. Some stretches can be done while seated, such as overhead stretches and neck rotations.

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