The Importance of Fitness

Chapter Ten: Fitness

March 26, 2017 5:00

In this chapter, we discuss the advantages of physical fitness. There are five components of physical fitness. They are cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. All of these components are important for you overall physical health and each has benefits for your body. Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease is a huge benefit from exercise because the more blood that your heart can pump throughout your body, the more oxygen and nutrients are getting to your muscles and organs. The key guidelines for health in individuals are 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity, or, 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week, or, equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity.

There are many obstacles that can get in the way of an exercise routine. Some include lack of time, lack of support socially, lack of motivation, and lack of resources. Lack of time is one of the biggest excuses someone can make for not making it to the gym. It’s currently why I haven’t made it to the gym. Since it’s the end of the semester I’ve had a lot of extra exams and homework assignments so it’s hard for me to make it to the gym to work out. Luckily my stepdad is a Crossfit coach, so I can occasionally do work outs at home with him.

I really enjoy the “SMART” goals. The guidelines are easy to follow and can make a huge difference. S is for Specific which means you set a specific goal that you want to reach. M is measurable which means you must be able to see the improvements. A is for action-oriented, which means you must put in the effort and work towards your goal, maybe by using outside help to set a plan. R is for realistic which means your goal must be attainable, not something like “I will lose 20 pounds in a week”. T is for time-oriented which means maybe you try out something new for a certain amount of weeks or you say that you’ll improve something in a certain amount of weeks. This keeps you reliable to your goal and encourages you to work towards it every day.

I’ve learned through my physical therapy on my back, that core strength is really important especially when it comes to posture and scoliosis. I have a small curve in my back that affects the way I exercise a lot of the time. I notice the most pain when I’ve taken off a lot of time from doing my core exercises. When I was doing Pilates once a week I really realized a difference in the way I sat and how I felt. Yoga has also helped my back pain because it’s not high intensity but it does help to increase flexibility in my spine. During weeks where I’m under a lot of stress (like this upcoming week) I try and make it to a yoga class because not only does it help with the tension in my neck and back, but it helps me relax and let go of my stress and anxiety.

My health aspect so far is going really well and I’ve been able to exercise at home and even went climbing for the first time in a while last night! I’ve been eating a lot healthier, drinking less coffee, and bringing my food for lunch instead of buying it. This helps me because when I buy my lunches, I shoot for more unhealthy things. Doing well so far! This chapter also really related to my health aspect because it deals with fitness. From my blog pictures, most of you guys know I really like to hike and climb. Both of these activities can help with all five components of physical fitness. It takes a lot of cardiorespiratory fitness to hike a mountain with few short stops. Muscular strength is used a lot during climbs where you need to pull yourself up, or if you’re carrying a heavy backpack. Muscular endurance is used during climbing when you climb to the top because you can’t fatigue or you’ll fall. Flexibility is used in climbing when your foothold and handhold are far apart so you have to reach for the other one. Hip flexibility is really important and with hiking your hip flexors can get really tight so it’s important to stretch them out during long hikes and climbs. Body composition is also really important in both because the more body weight you’re carrying with you, the harder it can be to pull yourself up or to finish the hike. These pictures are from some of my favorite climbs!

MA Blue Hills 4
Blue Hills in Milton MA
NH Arethusa Falls 3
Arethusa Falls in NH
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Flat Top Mountain in Anchorage, Alaska
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Red Rock Canyon in Nevada
NH Lost River 3
Kancamagus Highway in NH
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Red Rock Canyon in Nevada
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