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According to Steven Blair, More than sixty percent of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity. In fact, twenty-five percent are not active at all. Nearly half of all American youths 12-21 years of age are not vigorously active on a regular basis. Moreover, physical activity declines during adolescence. Eating less and eating sensibly is only one half of the fitness balancing act; physical activity is the other — very important — half of the equation (Blair 1 ). For people to become physically fit, they need to start a Physical Fitness Program. There are several simple factors to remember when starting a physical fitness program and pursuing through the program, thus anybody can accomplish. These factors are: A physical with a doctor, setting goals, being consistent, frequency of a physical fitness program, measuring of the heart rate, and starting the exercises and completing them the correct way without causing any injury. When people start to notice how a physical fitness program makes them feel better about themselves, they will be glad for starting a physical fitness program.
The only way to become physically fit is to start a Physical Fitness Program however, it is important that people are healthy when they start a fitness program. Therefore, they need to check with their physician before starting any new activity or training, to insure a safe and enjoyable workout (Zuti 1). To begin a physical fitness program, people must set goals and develop plans as how they expect to achieve them. Their long-term goal will be overall fitness. Write down ultimate goals, such as being able to jog or walk two miles and feel good about it. No matter what shape people are in now, if they have not been exercising regularly they should start slowly and not try to progress too fast. If people go too fast, they will get sore, tired, and frustrated; all of which will hamper their enthusiasm for their program (Zuti 2). The most two important design considerations of any program are that it can be performed consistently and progressively. If people do not train consistently and progressively, their body will not get the stimulation it needs to get stronger and healthier (Christy 1).
Before starting any type of physical fitness program, people have to do a proper warm up of their body. The best way to warm up is to exercise at a light pace for five to six minutes, or until you begin to perspire. People can walk, jog or use another endurance activity. Warming up in this manner increases blood flow to muscles and tendons, raising their temperature, which increases their flexibility. This also helps reduce muscle stiffness that can develop and keep people from injuring themselves (Friedman 28).
Not all forms of exercise offer the same health benefits, so it is important to understand what types of exercise can provide. Exercises may be aerobic or anaerobic. The term aerobic exercise is used to describe any form of prolonged activity that can be done continuously for at least 12 minutes and that uses oxygen to provide energy for the muscles. Some of the aerobic exercises include: Brisk walking, jogging, stair-climbing, aerobic dancing, cycling, swimming, rowing, and some forms of dancing (such as square dancing, folk dancing, or ballroom dancing). Anaerobic exercise consists of a short, sharp burst of strenuous activity, which include: sprinting a short distance and lifting of heavy weights (Clayman 20-23).
Physical fitness is most easily understood by examining its components, or parts. These four components are: Cardiorespiratory endurance — Three 20 minute sessions each week of continuous aerobic rhythmic exercise. Muscular Strength — A minimum of two 20-minute sessions per week that include weight-lifting exercises for all major muscle groups. Muscular Endurance — Three 30-minute sessions each week that include exercises such as calisthenics, pushups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. Flexibility — 10-12 minutes of daily stretching exercises performed slowly without a bouncing motion, can be included after a warm-up or during a cool-down. . The sit-and-reach test is a good measure of flexibility of the lower back and backs of the upper legs. Your exercise program should include something from each of the four basic fitness components described previously. Each workout needs to be spaced throughout the week and avoid consecutive days of hard exercises (Sante 2).
The frequency of a physical fitness program is determined based on maintaining consistency and progression. If people workout too frequently, their joints will take a beating and they will likely end up with some form of long-term joint inflammation. Also, peoples immune system will not be able to recover and they could end up getting sick. The goal of training is not to see how much torture the body can withstand, but to stimulate the body and then let it recover. If people can train two to three times a week and continually get stronger as they would training four times per week, with less chance of injury, then this should be the number of times they workout (Christy 1-2).
After people complete their physical fitness program, they need to cool down by slowing down their heart rate. Performing an exercise at a slower pace for five to 15 minutes until the persons breathing returns to normal. When people end their workout this way keeps blood flowing through working muscles, stabilizes blood pressure and lets their heart rate descend slowly and steadily (Friedman 28).
After people complete the cool down process (placing strain on the muscles), their body will immediately begin to repair the damaged muscle tissue so they are ready for further activity. After the physical fitness program the same considerations have to be observed to maximize the repairing potential. Continuing to perform heavy activities after a workout will stop the repair process and hinder further workout activities (Christy 1).
Heart rate is widely accepted as a good method for measuring intensity during running, swimming, cycling and other aerobic activities. Exercise that does not raise the heart rate to a certain level and keep it there for twenty minutes will not contribute significantly to cardiovascular fitness. The heart rate people should maintain is called their Target Heart Rate. There are several ways of arriving at this figure. One of the simplest is: Maximum heart rate (220 – age) x 70%. Thus, the target heart rate for a 40 year-old would be 126 (Sante 3).
It is nearly impossible to achieve your health and fitness goals without a proper nutrition program. There are six classes of nutrients that peoples body must have to function properly.
They are: Water – People should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Carbohydrates – Foods such as breads, grains, cereals, pastas, fruits and vegetables are full of carbohydrates. Fats – The recommended level is 20 – 25% of daily calories from fat. Proteins – Protein foods contain four calories per gram, and it is recommended that the average adult get 20 – 25% of their daily calories from protein, which include foods such as: cheese, eggs, fish, meat and milk. Vitamins – Vitamin A, C, D, E and K are helpers in many cell functions, aiding in the processes by which other nutrients are digested and used by the body. Minerals — There are fourteen trace minerals necessary for survival, a few which are: Chromium, Copper, Fluorine, Manganese, Selenium, and Zinc. Minerals are essential, acting as co-factors of enzymes,” and as an organizer of the molecular structure of the cell and its membrane (Entin 1-3).
The truth of the matter is for people to become physically fit, they need to start a Physical Fitness Program. People should not expect too much, too soon. Starting a Physical fitness.
Program is a long, slow process, especially if people have neglected it for years. Training will benefit all areas of the body and these improvements will show up as a person progresses. Some of the improvements may not be outwardly apparent, such as an improved heart rate, so record keeping is important if people really want to see their overall progress (Zuti 6). When people start to notice how a physical fitness program makes them feel better about themselves, they will be glad for starting a physical fitness program. Even though people might feel that they are too old to exercise or they waited to long to start exercising, just remember that it is never to late to start a physical fitness program.
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