Fit, Active or ..Unaware ?
Part – II
Physical fitness is a term almost everyone is familiar with in today’s times. Rather it won’t be wrong to say that it has turned more into a marketing cliché. Today, more than ever, people are aware of this particular term and have encyclopedias of information about it.
Yet ironically, it’s only in these times that people have moved so far from its incorporation in real life that WHO had to declare physical inactivity as one of the global health threats (read article).
Physical fitness, which comes at the price of flexing one’s muscles is often misinterpreted by few with being thin. These however, are two very different things. Maintaining proper ‘Body Mass Index’ is very important but this doesn’t makes health or physical fitness synonymous with a thin body.
Another misconception that people carry, is about physical fitness level being directly related to age. It’s a fact that with increasing age our body faces a decline in its fitness level and asks for more care and attention.
But again, if a youngster has taken to a couch potato life and intakes more junk food and aerated drinks then his physical fitness level might be worse than a 60+ person who eats healthy and follows daily walk and physical work routine.
A study by WHO in 2010 showed that globally 81% of adolescents were insufficiently physically active. Whereas the same study stated this percentage to be 23 in adults. Hence, it’s important to note that when we talk about physical fitness, we need to keep following parameters in mind:
Endurance – cardiovascular and muscular: Cardiovascular endurance is the efficiency with which oxygen is delivered to body by heart, lungs and blood vessels during an activity. Whereas muscular endurance is how long our muscles can perform a repeated task of force without experiencing fatigue, say – cycling, push ups or swimming
Muscular strength- it refers to the strength of muscles or the force muscles can produce.
Balance- It’s the ability of body to maintain balance during different movements and positions. Tai chi is a good example to understand body balancing. Gymnastics requires high level of body balancing.
Flexibility- The ease and ability with which our joints and associated muscles perform wide range of moments define our body flexibility. Yoga is a highly effective way to work on body flexibility.
An effective way to improve overall physical fitness is by following a workout routine which takes into consideration all above categories, depending on one’s body requirement.
Encouraging one’s friends to join in these fitness activities and work towards a common fitness goal is always advantageous. As it makes exercise fun and also increases the motivation level, thereby reducing the chances of quitting within few days of starting.
Activities like cycling, running, yoga, swimming, tai chi, outdoor games like badminton, cricket etc are good options for people who don’t prefer sweating in gym.
Physical fitness is something one can’t overlook if they aim to lead a healthy life. It’s important to remember that no one except you can help yourself stay physically fit. In the end it’s all about you, your determination and your sensibility to create an ailment free life for yourself.
Rest if you still want to procrastinate thinking that your cholesterol free cooking oil, air fried snacks, your forgotten bicycle or those expensive running shoes (lying somewhere in your store room), will perform some fitness magic for you, all by themselves, then you already know the answer.