‘Fitness’ is a term that has different meanings depending upon who you ask, but generally refers to one’s health and physical condition. An active lifestyle and healthy eating can certainly improve your fitness but being fit is also about having good mental health. Therefore, it is fair to say then that to be fit is to be in good shape both physically and mentally. A lack of fitness is strongly connected with disease and illness.
If you are unfit but want to change that, then this post has got you covered. Below are four ways that can help you can improve your fitness.
Regular exercise is one of the most essential components of a healthy lifestyle. The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, which averages out at around 20 to 30 minutes a day. If you are taking up exercise after a long period of inactivity, then it is very important to stagger your exercises and build up slowly and progressively. If you have not exercised in a while, then it might be worth hiring a personal trainer (PT) to help you on your journey to achieving your fitness goals.
After exercise, you need to let your muscles rest. Not only does letting your muscles rest make them stronger, but it also reduces soreness (e.g. DOMS). It is difficult to give advice regarding the amount of time that your muscles need to rest without knowing the type of exercise that you are doing, so be sure to research tips for muscle recovery specific to your type of exercise. However, as a general rule, after working out a muscle/muscle group let it rest for one to two days. During this rest period, you can work out other muscles. It is also strongly recommended by many fitness experts to take at least one day off a week.
Exercise can be very stimulating mentally, but you can not spend every waking minute exercising, can you? In your time off, you should stimulate your mind in other ways. Mental activity can increase your brain’s flow of oxygen, blood, and nutrients. If it is possible, take up a mix of mental activities, including educational, social, leisure, and occupational ones. In terms of leisure activities, chess, reading, and sudoku are all very effective ways of stimulating one’s mind. If you are more technologically-minded, then video games can also be stimulating. However, like with physical activity and exercise, it is important to give your brain time to rest.
Social fitness is a thing, too. Humans are naturally social creatures, so it is important to maintain a social connection with one’s friends and family. Regular social interaction can make us feel happier and more supported. Social interactions also boost our self-esteem and self-confidence. If you are a shy or withdrawn person, then pushing yourself to join a group or club, take a class, or volunteer somewhere are all ways of increasing your social connection and making new friends. People who are more connected socially are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, two conditions that can negatively affect one’s fitness.
If you want to be fit, then you need to address your life holistically. Being fit can boost your self-esteem, mood, sleep quality, and energy, in addition to reducing your chances of developing certain diseases and illnesses. In short, being fit will have a positive impact on your life.