Can you consider yourself to be physically active? If not, have you considered a change in your lifestyle? Believe it or not I myself despised the idea of exercising. Physical Fitness has made a great impact in various aspects of my life. You can say that I was fat my whole life until I tried all kinds of forms of physical activity. I would eat anything that I see on the dining table including a big bowl of rice until the third level of high school. During that stage in my life, I realized that I had a bigger body compared to others. People I see would laugh at me because of my 200-pound body. Because of this, I felt that it was time to change for the better and start working-out. I then told myself that I would give exercise a go. I started by just simply using the stationary bike in the house and bike for 30 minutes. After a month, my body got used to the pressure so I started jogging. In a matter of 5 long months, I lost 60 pounds and made it back to normal weight from Obese Stage III. Many things in my life changed this including my physique, energy levels, and outlook on life. Being physically active has changed my life for the better.
First of all, what is physical fitness? Why is physical fitness important? Physical fitness refers to the ability to do tasks and exert effort without experiencing fatigue thus, a physically fit person who trains his/her body by exercising will experience less fatigue or tiredness than a person who is not physically active. An important term that accompanies physical fitness is exercise. Exercise is the essential factor that results to physical fitness. The reason for this is that through exercise, the person’s body will attain the state of physical fitness.
When people hear the word physical fitness, many famous celebrities or athletes come to mind. This because majority of celebrities and athletes dedicate hours in working out in the gym and training hard to achieve the state of being physically fit. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a former body builder who is known around the world for his incredible physique and his impact on people’s lives through his body building career. Another is Chris Pratt, a Hollywood actor known for his role as Peter Quill in the Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. What most people don’t know is that before the production of this movie, Pratt was overweight. He worked out for hours everyday to attain the physique that he has achieved. Athletes like Lebron James need to be physically fit because it is needed in their field of work. Running, shooting, defending, and dribbling on the NBA court for 48 minutes is not an easy task. They need to train their bodies by exercising in order for them to perform well on the court. Although celebrities and athletes have their own reasons as to why they exercise may it be to look good on television or to win championships, they still have the same goal which is to attain the state of being physically fit. That is why, Physical fitness is an important aspect of health that many people embrace as a lifestyle because it boosts one’s physical and social wellness.
Nowadays, majority of the people imbibe physical fitness in their daily routine. The usual exercises that people perform are cardio and weight lifting. These types of exercise are the most popular forms that can be classified as Muscle Strength Training, Cardiorespiratory Training and Muscle Endurance Training.
Muscular Strength is defined as “the ability of muscle to exert force during an activity” (Newman,2016). This means that strength is measured by how much weight or pressure one’s muscles can lift or push. One’s muscles can be trained to allow the person to exert more force on objects and strengthen their muscles through consistent and daily exercises that consists of weight-lifting. In the process of lifting weights, the muscles are contracted and extended in the exercises that are being done in the gym. Furthermore, after hours of working on these muscles in the gym, the muscles soon become exhausted, thus experiencing ‘failure’ as one continues to exercise these muscles. After weightlifting session, these muscles are rested and start to develop and give’s a person more strength if these muscles are consistently exercised. An example of an icon of muscular strength, as stated above, is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Everyone in the world walks, jogs, and runs. This form of physical activity is known as Cardiorespiratory endurance or ‘cardio’. It refers to the ability of the lungs and heart to supply energy in the different muscles of the body. Cardiorespiratory utilizes the lungs and heart in the exercises that are classified under this form. Examples of cardio are Running, Jogging, Walking. As a person exercises daily using this form of physical activity, his/her ability to supply oxygen to the muscles strengthen. Therefore, this results in the increase of how long a person can continuously perform cardio.
Muscular Endurance is the ability of one’s muscles to exert effort or force continuously (Newman,2016). The goal of muscular endurance training is for one’s muscles and cardiorespiratory system to coordinate in the exercise continuously without fatigue. This type of physical activity is a combination of both muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. It makes use of intense strength and cardiorespiratory exercises such as circuit training, jumping rope, resistance band exercises, cardio, weightlifting, and many more. Although weightlifting is an included exercise, its exercises are mainly used for muscle endurance more than building muscle (Freytag, 2015).
In the world we live in, many forms of exercise are being widely used. With a vast array of world-class gyms to choose from such as Gold’s Gym, Fitness First, and the 24-hour Anytime Fitness, people have no more excuses in excluding physical activity in their lifestyle. A relatively new form of exercise, Zumba is a rising form of exercise that are taken up majority by women. In Zumba classes, the people follow a dance instructor who creates rapid body movements based on the high-tempo of the songs moreover, burning calories while having fun dancing. The growing trend of fighting sports also results in people turning to boxing gyms and joining either boxing, Muay-Thai, Mixed-Martial Arts, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes as their form of physical activity. On the contrary, some people, to save money, can also exercise in their villages and homes. Rodgers & Douglas (2010) explain that, running is cheap because one only needs a good pair of running shoes and running wear. Performing cardio around the village, such as running, although free, is effective and produces great results if done consistently. Another is doing body workouts such as pushups, crunches, and leg raises at home. Henceforth, a person can choose any of the forms of exercises stated above based on their interests.
In the physical sense, being physically active benefits one in many ways. According to the Mayo Clinic Staff (2016), physical activity boosts one’s energy levels. When imbibing the physically active lifestyle, a person’s body develops and improves muscular strength and boosts the body’s endurance. This occurs because of the fact that physical activity promotes the improving of the circulation in the body as well as strengthening the heart of person, therefore resulting in higher energy levels produced. This gives a person more stamina that is needed in performing their daily tasks. Jillian O’Keefe claims that physical activity reduces a person’s chance of acquiring health diseases such as heart diseases and cancers (2013). Physical activity improves the entirety of the body this including the heart. As stated above, being physically active improves the heart and body’s circulation. Being physically active also results in one’s improvement in physique. While exercising, a person burns calories and fats that are stored in the body. When consistently active, a person then is subjected to weight loss and the formation of muscles. Although this is the normal result, the person must also eat the right food in doing so to prevent the build-up of excess fats. Although these benefits are the most obvious, physical activity also benefits one’s life socially.
Living an active lifestyle results in one to build relationships with people at the same time improve one’s self. An active lifestyle results in a person’s increase in having a positive emotional stature. The reason for this is that while performing physical activity, a person’s body releases “happy hormones” such as endorphins and serotonin. With this being said, the excretion of these so-called happy hormones after performing cardiovascular activity, can decrease one’s chances of being stressed and depressed (Beale, Couvillon, & Clark,2005).Being a physically active person can also change the lives of others by being an example to show the results of being physically fit. In a physically inactive person’s perspective, one is motivated to change their lifestyle and imbibe the lifestyle of a physically active person. One’s active lifestyle increases his/her self-esteem as well. A person’s self-esteem is elevated by physical activeness because a person feels good about his/herself in many ways including having a better body/physique. Achieving a better body allows the person to feel a form of achievement because of the discipline that one exercises in achieving that great body such as dieting and sticking to a strict workout routine.
With this in mind, living a healthy and physically active lifestyle is beneficial to a person in many ways. Although majority of the population in the world are physically active, there are still others who do not subject themselves to change their lifestyle for the better. People have many reasons as to why they are physically inactive such as the difficulty that is experienced in the process of becoming physically fit, thus restraining them from continuing their regimen. Zig Ziglar (as cited in Garvens, n.d.) quoted that, “You do not have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” . This quote explains that every person who has achieved their goals in life came from nothing, but started to become great in the world. In relation to physical activity, a person has to start living a physically active lifestyle to achieve their goals whether it be to lose weight, to gain muscle, and many more. With this stated, physical activity, although difficult, results in great things to happen in one’s life.
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