Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fitness Basics

I believe nobody is born fit naturally and can remain fit without doing anything throughout his or her lifetime. Fitness requires persistent training and commitment. We will continue to enjoy the benefits of exercising if we stick to it. Once we stop, all the benefits will be gone. Age doesn't matter. It's never too late to start exercise.

If you've decided to start exercise now, or if you're new to exercise, here are some fitness basics that you might want to know:
  • The best exercises for fitness are the ones that we can exercise continuously, those that are least likely to injure us and the ones we enjoy the most.
  • We become fit by exercising vigorously enough to increase the circulation of blood. It makes no difference to our heart how we increase our circulation. We work harder at higher intensity, we become fitter.
  • The best exercises for fitness use our legs because the blood vessels in our legs are so much larger and thus able to circulate far more blood to our body than other body parts. Arm exercises make us tire earlier because most people have weaker arms.
  • Some exercises require a great level of fitness just to start. For example, to jump rope, we must spin the rope more than 80 times a minute to keep it from tangling. Many people can't jump 80 times a minute. So, choose exercises that we can take control of.
  • For starters, the safest exercises are low-impact aerobics, walking, swimming and pedaling a stationary bicycle. Running causes lots of injuries, because the force of our feet striking the ground can be six times of our body weight, which can damage muscles and bones. (Read my post on Deep Impact on Knees for more information.) Choose appropriate exercise wisely.
  • Exercises that don't keep us moving may be fun, but they won't make us fit. For example, the average tennis player spends 80 percent of their playing time waiting for the ball. (Read my post on Are all exercises the same? for more information.)

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