Physical fitness exercises will bring you several steps closer to a healthier and more energetic lifestyle. But what kind of physical activity is necessary for physical fitness?
The exercises don’t need to be strenuous. You aren’t training for the Olympics or a marathon – unless of course you are! They do need to be consistent and easily available. If the exercises are difficult, cause too much pain or require too much preparation you are at a higher risk of not accomplishing your task.
Men and women of any age can benefit from physical fitness exercises. It is important to get at least a moderate amount of daily activity like walking or jogging for 15-30 minutes. And remember that if you were previously sedentary – or a coach potato – you should begin programs with short 5-10 minute sessions up to the desired level of activity.
Physical fitness exercises are important to your health because they will help to decrease your risk of stroke, heart disease and high cholesterol. Physical activity will improve your quality of life. You’ll be able to do most daily activities with less effort and more grace. It will help to maintain your independence as you grow older. And research has found that the relationship between physical fitness exercises and health include a reduced oxygen demand during activities, a reduced tendency for blood clots, increased elasticity of the arteries and changes in brain chemistry that improves mood and functioning.
Interestingly, even with all of the education through the school systems and news in the media more than 60% of US adults do not receive in the recommended amount of physical fitness exercise. And approximately 25% of adults are not active at all. These numbers affect insurance rates and the number of stress related illnesses. Unfortunately 1.5 million people will have a heart attack in the US and 500,000 will die.
It’s never too late to start a physical fitness exercise program. You can control your health through a medical checkup before beginning. Your doctor will be able to determine if you have a medical condition that is not clearly apparent but which will affect your exercise program. When you begin remember to start slowly and choose an exercise that uses large muscle groups like jogging or cycling.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity over most of the days of the week. You can incorporate physical fitness exercises and activities into your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, gardening, raking leaves, dancing, mall walking, parking away from the entrance to the store and walking in or pushing your golf bag instead of taking a cart.
What if you don’t like exercise? Don’t worry! Don’t get it perfect just get it started. Use some of the follow tips to incorporate physical fitness exercises into your day.
Use the stairs at least once per day. If you have a two story home go up and down the stairs several times per day. Be sure to place your weight through your heels so you use your glutteal muscles to lift your body and not your knees.
Walk the dog or go for a short walk with the kids, spouse or significant other several times per week.
Go to the mall with a friend several times per week to mall walk for 30 minutes while window shopping.
You can help to increase your motivation by listing the reasons you want to incorporate physical fitness exercises into your daily life activities. This may seem like a useless activity but by listing reasons you need to and reasons you find not to exercise you’ll be able to figure out how to incorporate exercise.
Georgia State University: The Exercise and Physical Fitness Page
US News Health: Information on Fitness
MayoClinic: Fitness Exercise
Mayoclinic: Elements of a Well-Rounded Routine
Military: Top Military Workouts
MedlinePlus: Exercise and Physical Fitness