There Are Many Solid Ways To Be Fit And Healthy

by : Jude Wright

Aristotle helped define the standards of fitness 2,500 years ago when he said that a thing that suits its purpose is fit. The cardiovascular system, lungs, skeleton, muscles, endocrine system, and all the other components of our bodies function for our purpose, which is to live well.

Exercising helps us to be fit in many ways, each of which involves one or more of those systems.

The heart has to work harder than at rest when one performs increased physical activity. This increases the blood flow, fills tissues with fresh oxygen, and removes cellular waste products.

The lungs have to draw in extra oxygen to fill the tissues and help power the heart. The person also has to exhale at a faster rate. Exhalation removes carbon dioxide, a waste product of certain biochemical reactions, further improving the body' respiratory system.

Moderate exercise on a regular basis will raise HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol (also known as the "good" cholesterol.) HDL helps to regulate blood sugar levels and convert stored fat into sugars that provide energy. This process helps to prevent obesity, since that fat is being turned into a source of energy for the body to function.

Moderate exercise also provides benefits that most people strive to get when they work out - this includes increased muscle mass, toned legs, arms, stomach, buttocks, and healthier-looking skin. In addition, people will receive greater strength, higher endurance, improved balance, and often a better frame of mind.

Different types of routines will focus on one area of the body more than the other areas. Aerobic exercises help improve the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, weight lifting helps build one's muscle tone and mass, while yoga and pilates help muscular control, flexibility, and balance.

Even though each type of exercise specializes in one or two areas of the body, due to the fact that the body is an integrated system, the areas not specifically targeted by a certain exercise routine will still benefit from the improvement in the one to two areas that were emphasized by that exercise routine.

All those benefits to a moderate degree can be achieved with just 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity per day, at least 5 times per week. Such a routine can greatly increase your fitness and health. Activities that fall under this category don't require any special equipment or training and include a brisk walk, a short daily jog, jumping rope, and taking 1-2 flights of stairs.

More intense activity that is done properly can raise that level of benefits even further. Some activities that only require a moderate investment of time and money include a vigorous tennis game, an hour on the treadmill or exercise bike, and a few laps in the swimming pool.

For those that are really committed to their fitness and health, there are tons of gym classes and many different kinds of home fitness equipment to fit a wide variety of budgets. Those who follow a daily routine of weight training and a good, solid jog will keep their systems functioning well.