Body Fitness and Health

Body fitness is the state at which a body can achieve and perform physical activities. It can be either physical or mental fitness. Mental fitness is achieved when the body is properly functioning. It is essential to develop a proper body fitness plan in accordance to your lifestyle and desires.

Importance of Body Fitness 

  1. It helps in sharping memory and thinking by making you concentrate and feel better.
  2. Exercise helps in regulating sleep patterns and promotes sleep.
  3. Regular body exercise helps in the prevention of some diseases.
  4. Stretching helps in increasing flexibility and reduce medical complaints.
  5. Eliminate stresses and makes you relax.  

Components of Body Fitness 

        I. Cardiorespiratory Fitness

This exercise helps to show how your body can supply energy during physical activity via the body’s circulatory and respiratory systems. They help to elevate the heart rate for a period. Examples of these exercises include burpees, in and out hopping squats, swimming, dancing, climbing stairs, and jumping jacks.

Benefits of cardiorespiratory fitness:

  • Minimize risk of lung cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and other diseases.
  • Improve heart and lung conditions
  • Help improve blood flow, cardiac output and blood pressure.

      II. Muscular Strength

Muscular strength is the ability muscle to apply force in performing an exercise. It depends on age, gender and physical attributes. Strength is achieved by training using a programmed workout plan focusing on muscle groups. You should eat food that helps in building muscles so as to improve on strength. Examples of exercises for muscular strength include resistance band exercise, running and resistance training.

Benefits of Muscular strength:

  • Boost energy levels and moods.
  • Build healthier and strong muscles
  • Improve balance, stability and flexibility
  • Help in weight lose
  • Improve metabolism
  • Burning calories.

    III. Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle to continue exerting force over a period. Endurance training is not for generating large muscle size and should be carried out in phases. These exercise focuses more on the cardiovascular system, ensuring that the muscles receive the oxygenated blood they need to keep functioning. Examples of exercises that improve muscular endurance include plank, walking lunges, running and bodyweight squats.

Types of Muscle Fiber

  • Fast-twitch fibers – contract quickly but get tired quickly. They use a lot of energy and are useful for sprints. They are whitish in color as they do not require blood to function.
  • Slow-twitch fibers – best for endurance work, they can carry out tasks without getting tired. These fibers appear red as they rely on a good supply of oxygenated blood and contain stores of myoglobin. They are found in core muscles.

Benefits of Muscular Endurance  

  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve general body health
  • Better sleep

   IV. Body Composition

Body composition is the amounts of water, bone, muscle and fat. Body composition helps you in knowing you fat mass, body fat percentage, muscle mass and health level. Your body composition is influenced by sex, genes, age and hormones. Examples of exercises of maintaining body composition include cardiovascular exercises and fat burning.   

Benefits of healthy body composition

  • Minimize risk of diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer
  • Improve energy level
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Increase lifespan

     V. Flexibility

Flexibility is the range of movement across tendon, ligament and joint. Flexibility is important because it improves the ability to link movements together smoothly and can help prevent injuries. Flexibility is specific to each joint and depends on several variables, including the tightness of ligaments and tendons.

Types of flexibility exercise

  • Dynamic stretching – the ability to complete a full range of motion of a particular joint. This type of flexibility is used in standard “warming up” exercises as it helps ready the body for physical activity.
  • Static-active stretching – holding the body or part of the body in a stretched position and maintaining that position for some time. One example of static-active stretching is the splits.
  • Ballistic stretching – only to be used when the body is already warmed up and limber from exercise, it involves stretching in various positions and bouncing.

Tips for Fitness 

  1. Exercise Daily
  2. Right Diet

  1. Tracking Food and Calories Intake
  2. Enough Sleep

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  1. Drink water

Drinking water helps in providing energy, improving alertness and stamina. 

The health benefits of physical activity depend on the type of activity. There is evidence of the health benefits of activities that increase and maintain muscle strength.
The amount of physical activity (or volume of activity) is strongly related to the health benefits. Higher volumes of physical activity produce greater health benefits. The volume of aerobic activity can be thought of as the product of frequency (number of sessions or days per week), duration (≥10 minutes of activity per session per day per week), and intensity.

It is unclear how the frequency of physical activity, or number of days per week of activity, is related to health benefits. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that the benefits of 50 minutes of activity on 3 days differ from the benefits of 30 minutes on 5 days a week. On the other hand, aerobic fitness is strongly related to risk of chronic disease, and aerobic training for fitness is more effective if performed on 3 or more days per week. Most people who are regularly active perform activity on several days a week. When observational studies of physical activity report health benefits from regular activity, the regularly active people in the study are probably performing activity on several days each week. Although there is insufficient evidence on how frequency affects injury risk, it is likely that people who perform large volumes of physical activity on only 1 or 2days each week have increased risk of activity-related injuries compared to people who spread activity throughout the week. The intensity of aerobic activity affects health benefits (the intensity of an activity is the level of effort). Moderate-intensity aerobic activity and vigorous-intensity activity clearly provide substantial health benefits, whereas light-intensity activity does not. 

The intensity of aerobic activity affects health benefits (the intensity of an activity is the level of effort). Moderate-intensity aerobic activity and vigorous-intensity activity clearly provide substantial health benefits, whereas light-intensity activity does not. Given a set volume of activity, there is limited evidence that achieving this volume of activity with vigorous-intensity aerobic activities (as opposed to moderate-intensity activities).

The following list provides examples of light-intensity, moderate-intensity, and vigorous-intensity activities.

Light intensity activities.

  • Walking at less than 3 miles per hour
  • Bicycling less than 5 miles per hour
  • Performing stretching exercise
  • Playing golf at a driving range
  • Participating in lawn bowling
  • Playing horseshoes
  • Riding a horse at the horse’s walking pace.

Moderate-Intensity Activities. 

  • Walking at 3.0 to 4.5 miles per hour
  • Bicycling on level terrain at 5 to 9 miles per hour
  • Performing yoga
  • Participating in recreational dancing, such as square dancing
  • Walking a golf course
  • Playing badminton
  •  Participating in recreational swimming

Vigorous-Intensity Activities.

  • Race-walking
  • Jogging and running

  • Bicycling at 10 miles per hour or higher or bicycling uphill
  • Jumping rope
  • Playing most competitive sports (e.g., soccer, basketball)
  • Swimming steady, paced laps
  • Shoveling heavy snow.

The duration of an individual session or episode of aerobic physical activity, also affects health benefits. Episodes or sessions of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity of 10 minutes or longer have health is known that sessions of physical activity that are 10 minutes or longer improve aerobic fitness and some indicators of cardiovascular disease risk.