There are various perceptions about what fitness is. Fitness can mean something different to anyone you talk to. Yet, most people are aware that one of the requirements of a healthy life is to be fit. So the question is: if there are so many definitions of fitness, which one is the most correct? Well, considering that the idea that fitness is related to good health – scientifically speaking, one of the better definitions to use is a scientific and medical definition. Of course, there are other angles to approach this question from, but the scientific definition is pretty comprehensive.
So What Does This Definition Cover?
The obvious idea that most people have about being fit is encompassed by being able to perform physical activities and performing them in a highly functional state.
What is also an interesting perspective, however, is the ability to perform daily tasks in a highly functional manner. That means that if you have anything that impairs your daily tasks, that thing is also impairing your fitness. Take for example, headaches or migraines which are preventing you from doing your work: those are preventing you from performing a daily task. If you consider that most things that impact our daily tasks have a biological cause, it makes sense that being healthy and fit can reduce the onset of these factors in your life.
The state of our general health is obviously impacted by our physical conditioning – that is our diet and exercise. Proper nutrition is such an important part of health and fitness. So, insufficiencies in your diet can affect your fitness, by contributing to certain conditions that affect your ability to perform daily tasks. In order to improve your fitness, you need to pay attention to your nutrition. Customer Review is a helpful website that advises customers on all sorts of nutritional products if that is something you might be considering. It’s helpful because it looks at a range of different manufacturers and products, but more importantly, it offers sound scientific nutritional advice.
Physical activity is basically any form of exercise, that uses a significant amount of your muscles and requires a significant amount of your energy. Basically put, if you’d like to consider yourself fit, you need to be able to perform at least one or two exercises in a way that most people consider functional. For example, if you can jog, you need to be able to jog a certain distance in a reasonable amount of time. Again rather ambiguous terms, so that is why standardized testing was invented.
How Is Fitness Measured?
Fitness is measured using a number of standardized tests. There are a number of metabolic tests and anthropometric measurements (skinfold, fat percentage etc) that need to be assessed by a professional but there are a number of things that you could test yourself. Some of the tests that you can perform at home include:
- The six minute walk or 2 km walk test (tests cardiovascular fitness)
- The hand grip test (tests strength)
- The sit and reach test (tests flexibility)
- The lateral side bending flexibility test (also tests flexibility)
- The plate tapping test (tests speed of limb movement)
The professional tests also assess how good the person’s diet is in relation to their fitness. If you have the dedication though, you could keep a food journal and measure that against your recommended daily intake of calories and for what vitamins and minerals you need.
What Does This Mean For You?
Healthy living and fitness go hand in hand, and support each other. If you live a healthy lifestyle you are likely to be fit and if you are fit you are less likely to suffer from illness and so live a healthy life.
You might consider doing a home assessment of your physical capability if you want to test your fitness. For most people, this isn’t a necessary indication of their fitness. For the most part, if you are satisfied with your performance of physical activity and your diet, you are either already fit or on your way to becoming fit.
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