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What Is Fitness?

By Anne Keckler | November 30, 2009

Many people seem to think that fitness is synonymous with weight loss, or perhaps just endurance. I’d like to get you to rethink that.

Photo by N. Murat

The dictionary gives these definitions:

fit┬Ěness (ftns)
n.
1. The state or condition of being fit; suitability or appropriateness.
2. Good health or physical condition, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.

I especially like the first one, and it helps us to understand the second. If we are in “good health or physical condition,” what does that mean? What would that look like? How would we know if we are in “good health or physical condition?”

Certainly, a healthy ratio of body fat to lean body mass would figure into that, but many people are simply weighing their total body weight and looking for a specific number on the bathroom scale or a BMI that is in the “fit” range. But by gaining some muscle and losing some fat, you can be more fit than by simply losing weight. In fact, if you are only trying to lose weight, you may end up losing muscle, which would be detrimental to your ratio of body fat to lean body mass.

But there is really a lot more to fitness than that. What do you want to be suitable for, exactly? I want to be capable of playing with my children, scuba diving with my husband, and dancing with my friends, to name just a few things. These things require strength, stamina, and agility.

And what about good health? A good blood pressure and healthy cholesterol levels will help me to live a longer, more productive life. A strong body is less likely to suffer injuries, too. So the right exercise and nutrition plan will benefit me in all these ways.

What is the right exercise program?

An exercise program that improves physical fitness is one that increases your strength, stamina, and agility. It should positively impact your body composition (ratio of body fat to lean body mass), and your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. I highly recommend a progressive resistance training program, along with interval cardio exercise and daily stretching to accomplish these goals.

Related posts:

  1. Are You Bored With Your Fitness Routine?
  2. Fitness for Older Adults
  3. Methods of assessing fitness
  4. Best Diet
  5. How Your Lifestyle Affects Your Fitness

Related posts:

  1. Are You Bored With Your Fitness Routine?
  2. Fitness for Older Adults
  3. Methods of assessing fitness
  4. Best Diet
  5. How Your Lifestyle Affects Your Fitness

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Topics: Benefits, Exercise | 1 Comment »

One Response to “What Is Fitness?”

  1. Katrina R. Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I’ve been really thinking about the basis or getting back into mediating on the root of fitness words, too. Thanks for your post! There is a bevy of great, simplified information here.

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