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Physical Fitness: An Introduction


For years everyone has known that regular exercisealong with good nutrition is good for their health. The trick is how to build sound exercise habits and a balanced diet into your busy schedule. The stress of modern times mandates that you develop and maintain a fit, trim and fully functioning body. Being active and physically fit heightens your self-expression and self-esteem.

Physical Fitness

Research polls indicate that people today are becoming more health centered. As a result, people are becoming more interested in making fitness exercise an integral part of their life-style. This article will introduce you to the why of fitness. You will learn all about exercise and it's benefits and will also learn how to structure a personal exercise program that is safe, reasonable, effective, and, most important, rewarding and fun.

Consider the Following Statements

  • In the past, health meant only absence of disease. Today we have a much broader perspective and consider physical fitness to be a key component of total health.
  • The modern life-style fosters unfitness because technological advances have eliminated much fitness producing physical exertion from everyday activities.
  • Everyday activities, even for the laborer, no longer adequately stimulate the heart, lungs, and muscles to produce physiological benefits.
  • Society, especially the corporate world, is beginning to realize the importance of health promotion and the role of exercise in developing and maintaining good health habits.
  • Being physically fit means living at your fullest physical potential. Physical fitness is the capability of the heart, blood vessels, lungs, and muscles to function at optimal efficiency. It provides a basis for living a full and rewarding life style.
  • The basic health components of physical fitness are cardio-respiratory endurance, strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.
  • To be physically fit does take effort (yes, some sweat, too!), but exercise does not have to be punishing to help you develop and maintain physical fitness.
  • Regular and vigorous exercise of the total body is a necessary ingredient of muscular and circulatory fitness - the key to good health and well being.

Simple Facts of Physical Fitness

It is highly recommended that both children and adults participate in regular physical activity. This reduces the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, among many other health benefits. If you decide to begin an exercise program of any kind, please consult with your physician to discuss your personal needs.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is in this for me?

  • You will feel better both mentally and physically
  • You will have better control over your weight and cholesterol level
  • You will have better control over your blood pressure
  • You will increase your heart and lung fitness as well as your muscle tone
  • You need NOT reach athletic proportions of fitness to be healthy!

How hard do I have to work at this?

Woman Gardening You do not have to work as hard as some will have you believe. Moderate amounts of physical activity are enough to offer you many benefits. The key to collecting on those benefits is whatever you decide to do, do it regularly.

How do I get started?

If you have not been active at all check with your doctor. Be sure to discuss any medical conditions you have and the effect and/or impact of physical activity.

Once you get your doctors approval, begin your exercise program slow and easy. Start with small steps that remind you to keep moving. Take a short walk, use stairs instead of elevators, work in your garden, mow your lawn, and rake your leaves - anything that involves movement of the body. Remember that you need to do this regularly! Once your body has become accustomed to a low lever of physical exertion, begin to consider a form of aerobic exercise you feel you will enjoy. This could be walking, cycling, swimming, step aerobics, low impact aerobics or a stationery bike. Begin very slowly and gradually increase your time and physical effort.

How long should I work out?

The answer to this question depends on your fitness goals. If you just wish to do the minimum, or are new at exercising, as little as three twenty minute sessions of some form of aerobic activity is sufficient. If you wish to lose weight, you would want to increase this amount of exercise gradually to 45 to 60 minutes four to five times a week. If you are just starting, do not let those numbers alarm you yet. It will not seem so bad when your body is in better shape.

For a general and overall fitness routine, the recommendation is that healthy adults should strive for about 30 minutes of aerobic activity three to five times a week.


  1. Choose activities that you enjoy doing.
  2. Try to vary your activities so you do not get bored with the same old routine.
  3. Exercise with a friend or group if that will help you stay motivated.
  4. Set small goals and reward yourself along the way.
  5. Consult with a health care provider if you are beginning a new exercise program.

Back to Exercise!

Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.