What Is Fitness?

Ever stopped and thought what is fitness? I think the majority of us will automatically think fitness is bodybuilding (specifically having a 6 pack, big arms or a big bum!) Or only for sports people. But most of us may not realise fitness and health are very closely linked..

Fitness is the ability to cope with the physical aspect of your daily life and any extra stresses, physically put on your body by emergencies or activities (so walking up those stairs at work when the lift is broken or running to catch the bus count as those extras) without having any issues.

Meaning if you're struggling to cope with your current workload, something needs to change. Whether you need to look into adding exercise into your lifestyle or slow down a bit with what you're currently doing. However there are several health factors involved in life which can lead to a struggle, from diseases to illnesses.

Is fitness and exercise the same?

Not entirely, you need to exercise to increase your fitness. Later I will be going through some components that make fitness, you need to exercise those components which in turn increases your fitness level and can help you to get through your day easier.

The new era of fitness

With the ability to have countless hours of research, videos, online gurus etc on our smartphones the fitness world is ever changing. More and more people are concerned that they aren't moving enough (which is also becoming more true) and more and more people are turning to fitness regimes, gym plans and changes in their diets.

Commonly people are looking to transform their bodies. They undergo a whole diet change, often eating too little, and a vigorous training regime. Often this combination leads to an exhausted and sore body and a very large drop in daily energy. If you're looking to make a dramatic body transformation you should start by seeking a professionals help, by starting to introduce changes to your current lifestyle slowly and sustainably and have a mindset that nothing will change overnight.

Technology in fitness

Because of the technology involved within our day to day lives there is a big plus to being able to take on the transformations at home. Being able to have fitness and health professionals again at your finger tips does allow for safe monitoring and mentoring during your transformation.

Not only can we communicate online with trainers and health professionals but we now have mirrors that outline your figure and measure the size of your body as you stand on a scale, so that after time you can see the old you against the new you! We have doctors on our wrists in the form of smart watches, running and GPS trackers built into headphones etc. We have everything you could imagine to make it as clear and easy for us; but it can also help us make extraordinary results within the fitness, health and sporting world.

So what makes your fitness better?

Lets start by breaking down what makes fitness

- Strength - The amount of force a muscle can exert

- Speed - How fast you can move all parts of your body

- Cardiovascular fitness - Being able to transports oxygenated blood to the body during exercise

- Muscle endurance - Being able to use your muscles repeatedly during exercise

- Body composition - How much muscle or fat your body has

- Flexibility - Being able to move your joints through their full range of motion

These are the basic physical factors of fitness without going to in depth! Now think about your daily life or the life of those within sport and it is easier to see how to increase your fitness and it is far easier to see what makes a good athlete once you know that bit more.

Training regularly while looking to improve the above factors is the key to improving your overall fitness. Obviously each aspect requires a different type/style of training, but for the new comers to the fitness world just starting with almost anything will have big benefits.

If you're involved in sport just think which aspects of fitness you need and target your training around those key factors. A lot of the time sports people are training the wrong way for their sport, looking to get bigger and stronger often leaving important factors behind. tailoring your training to your goal / sport is always going to be the best outcome.

Is your fitness linked to your health?

Being "healthy" is often being overlooked and sadly being misinterpreted by the media worldwide. Diet pills, weight loss shakes, juicing diets and even cereals are being heavily portrayed as being healthy / nutritious and natural. We are told that being healthy is to be skinny, or to be able to run a long distance etc. But health is really more basic than that. Health by the WHO definition is the "complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." So involving fitness into your lifestyle can have a large effect on your health.

When you exercise your brain releases hormones which in turn makes you feel happier, exercising is a very good way of letting go of the stress involved in life and it can help you meet more people. However the benefits don't stop there, fitness can help your body to fight off illness and disease, so it is vital especially in these hard times to still add some exercise to your life!

With physical wellbeing being part of your health, fitness / exercise is a key factor in keeping you healthy. We have all heard of the term "fit and healthy" in the past often said by doctors after check ups or what we say to our family after an accident of sorts. To be fit you must have a degree of health and to be healthy you must have some degree of fitness. They are very closely linked, and are both extremely important in keeping us happy.

Being healthy is about being comfortable in yourself, and being able to live your life to its fullest. Having a nice balance of work, exercise, a social life and time with loved ones or even time alone leads to a very healthy lifestyle.

The real question is, are you fit and healthy?

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