In order to keep the body healthy, constant sustenance in form of food, water, physical activity and rest is required. Without all of these things, the body fails to perform in peak condition and eventually the human body systems weaken and become more susceptible to illness and disease. Physical activity is an intrinsic part of maintaining peak function of the body. Due to increasing mechanization and technology today, people need to exercise more than ever to attain and maintain optimal health.
Fit or Unfit? Being moderately overweight does not automatically mean a person is unfit. Everyone’s natural body composition is different. Individuals with a great deal of muscle mass or a dense skeletal structure may weigh more then the ideal weight according to their height and age on standard charts. If a person cannot play a specific sport well does not mean they are unfit, it just means that they are unable to play a particular sport well. Sport specific training and cross training can help in this case.
A person can appear larger than average, body-wise, and still be capable of great strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility. That being said, being overweight can also mean simply too much fat. Being over-fat increases the risk of serious diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Having a high heart rate following low intensity exercise, whether one is thin or overweight, is a clear indication a person is unfit or may have a heart condition.
In general, exercise can change the body composition by increasing the lean muscle tissue and proportionally reducing fat. This change in body composition can give the body a healthier, leaner appearance, regardless of weight loss or gain. Scales do not indicate how much lean mass or fat you have, they simply tell you how much you weigh. Keep in mind, muscle is denser then fat. Moderate to vigorous regular exercise, combined with a nutritious balanced diet can positively transform your body, while sedentary lifestyle and junk food can transform your body in a negative way.
There is also a very important social benefit with exercise. In most cases being physically active at any age gets you out and about, gets you together with other people who are doing the same thing. This connection leads to making new acquaintances and even good friends. Getting to know more people in your local gym and wellness center gives you more than one reason to get up and go. You are more motivated to meet people in your active community and work out together.
Exercise can also improve your self-concept, body image and productivity levels by providing a sense of self-esteem, personal accomplishment and positive changes in one’s health, body and fitness level. Many people report feeling energized physically and mentally after exercise.
In the quest for health, physical fitness and overall well-being, there is also a great benefit in holistic activities that incorporate the mind, body and spirit.There is a variety of nurturing and healing activities that contribute to overall well-being and personal growth. Tai Chi, Meditation, Relaxation, Yoga, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and Aromatherapy are just a few to name.
All aspects of life are interconnected; food, frame of mind, career, relationships, exercise and spiritual life. All have an effect on one another and all directly influence one’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Marion Eberlein, BCRPA certified Personal Trainer, Weight Trainer, Third Age / Special Populations, and Group Fitness Instructor, has worked in different fitness facilities all over the world.