First off, what is fitness?
Fitness is the state of being physically healthy and fit. It includes many aspects such as muscular strength, flexibility, aerobic fitness, body composition, and endurance.
An individual’s definition of fitness can change depending on their goals, interests, and physical abilities. For example, one may think of running marathons as being physically active. To another, taking daily walks is staying physically active.
People often forget to incorporate fitness activities into their daily lives, which may result in many chronic issues, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Other issues include higher chances of developing mental health problems and loss of bone strength. Inactive/sedentary lifestyles have also been confirmed to be reasons for premature death.
Being physically active can help control body weight by burning off calories while using it for energy. Although there are several other factors at play depending on the individual, different types of exercise generally produce different amounts of weight being lost:
Resistance training can cause 0-1% weight loss
Aerobic and resistance training can cause 0-3% weight loss
A healthy diet with aerobic exercises can cause 5-15% weight loss
With physical fitness, the chances of bodily issues like a number of diseases and some cancers, including breast, urine and colorectal, can also decrease. Fitness also promotes better bone and muscle strength, which can lower the chances of injury.
Gains from exercising are not limited to one’s physique. Increased energy levels and a greater feeling of satisfaction can also come from physical fitness. Moreover, it can help reduces stress, anxiety and depression.
Seeing results after workouts can boosts one’s self-esteem and confidence as well. It also improves functions in the brain such as memory, thinking, learning and many other cognitive skills.
Roadblocks to fitness
Trying to stay physically active may be difficult for some people. One may not have time to work out regularly or lack motivation. But small changes can be made to one’s daily routine to help stay fit. For example, riding one’s bike or walking to school/work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking farther away from one’s destination.
To solve the lack of motivation, one must find something that they enjoy, like various sports, cardio, yoga, and anything that keeps them moving really. Creating reachable goals may also help to stay motivated.
It has also become difficult for many to stay active during the pandemic due to gym closures. But it’s important not to be discouraged by this. There are still numerous ways to stay active while staying safe, with moderate-level exercises such as walking, light jogging, bicycling, and skateboarding (masks on, of course).
Fitness is not just about keeping one’s figure fit. It’s also about keeping the mind healthy and happy. This pandemic has caused harm for many, but we can get through this together by taking care of ourselves first.
The original article has been edited for length and clarity.