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Improving Your Physical Fitness

by Ron Kurtus (24 February 2007)

Physical fitness means that your body is not only healthy and relatively free from disease or injury, but that it is working in its optimal state. This fitness is achieved by eating foods that not only keep you healthy but that also provide you with needed nutrients to maintain your fitness.

You need to exercise your cardiovascular system, such that you can effectively provide oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and brain. It is also exercising and conditioning your muscles so that they are stronger and have more endurance.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Nutrition

Fitness starts with good nutrition. You need to eat the proper food and avoid such things as foods with an excess of "bad" fats such as trans-fat. Intake of toxic materials such as alcohol, tobacco or recreational drugs should be minimized, if not completely eliminated.

What you eat and drink provides the fuel and building blocks for your body. If you are exercising strenuously, you need to make sure your diet will supply you with the materials needed for growth.

Cardiovascular system

Doing exercises that work your heart and lungs help to increase their capacity and effectiveness.

When your heart is stronger, it can pump blood through your body more effectively, without effort. While the average heart rate for a man is 72 beats per minute (bpm) and that of a woman is 80 bpm, a person who is fit and in good physical condition will have a heart rate around 60 beats per minute. Some runners may even have a resting pulse of under 50 bpm.

The heart and breathing rate go hand-in-hand. Exercising, especially aerobic exercises increase the strength, endurance and capacity of the lungs, such that oxygen is introduced to the blood stream more effectively. Obviously, a person who smokes is compromising the effectiveness of his or her lungs.

Muscles

You have enough strength to perform your daily tasks or activities without premature fatigue. People different percentages of speed-related muscles and endurance-related muscles.

Strength training seems to work the speed muscles and endurance training works the endurance muscles.

Summary

Physical fitness means that your body is healthy, relatively free from disease and is working in its optimal state. You need to eat foods that provide you with needed nutrients to maintain your fitness. You need to exercise your cardiovascular system, so you can effectively provide oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and brain. You also need to exercise and condition your muscles for strength and endurance.


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