Obesity kills. This has been proven time and again by a multitude of studies on obesity. The United States Center for Disease Control writes that obesity increases the likelihood that one develops coronary heart disease, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, liver disease, respiratory problems including sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and gynecological problems. Yet, according to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, around 1 in 4 adults in the United States are obese.
The rise in obesity awareness has led to a rise in the number of people wanting to be fit. Here are 7 fundamentals for fitness.
1. Know what fitness is for you.
Like it or not, not everybody can be as fit as, say, Sylvester Stallone. You must know your body and your limits. This means that you should know what level of fitness is right for you. Physical fitness actually means that you can look good, feel good, and have the energy to do what you need to do everyday and other supplemental tasks like leisure and emergency demands. When you are physically fit, you can do your daily tasks with vigor and alertness.
To know the optimum level of fitness for you, make sure that you take into consideration your age, genes, gender, personal habits, exercise and eating patterns.
2. Consult a doctor.
Before starting any exercise regimen, you should consult with a doctor on whether you could undergo a fitness regimen and how rigorous it could get without damaging your health. You should also be careful if you have medical conditions like heart problems, high blood pressure, arthritis, muscle problems and any other health problems.
3. Eat right.
You would need to watch what you eat. Eat more healthy foods while avoiding “bad ones” like sweets, fatty foods and similar stuff. You would also need to strike a balance between your food intake and your energy output, to make sure that you lose fat when you need to or gain weight when it is necessary.
4. Set a workout schedule and stick to it.
You should be clear as to how often, how hard and how long you exercise in a certain week. Your workout schedule should reflect your goals, your fitness level, age, skills and convenience. It should include enough time for warm up, the exercises you need to do for strengthening your muscles, building up your endurance and flexibility and lastly cooling down.
5. Determine the exercises you need to do.
You should know the right exercises you need to help you with your fitness goals. If you want to build strength, then look for strength training exercises. You should be aware that you should slightly overload your body to make sure that it builds endurance, as well. Your exercises should be regularly done and balanced, and it should progress over time.
6. Keep your heart-rate under control.
Do not overdo your exercises. Maintain a target heart rate that is healthy for you. A good way to calculate your target heart rate is by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying it by 70%. Do not go over this as this is your maximum heart rate.
From your maximum heart rate, subtract your resting heart rate and then multiply it again by 70%. Add this number to your resting heart rate to get your target heart rate.
7. Wear comfortable clothing.
Exercise clothes should be comfortable and should allow you to move freely in them. More importantly, your perspiration should be able to evaporate freely.