Personal Fitness

Personal fitness can be defined in terms of how much energy you have, how well you feel from day to day and how resilient your body is to long-term health problems. Your level of fitness determines how efficiently you can deal with the physical workload of everyday life without feeling breathless and exhausted. Incorporating regular exercise into your life will enable you to improve both your long-term health and physical endurance.

There are three major aspects of training involved in improving physical personal fitness. These are aerobic fitness, muscular fitness and flexibility, or, as they are sometimes known, ‘the three Ss’ – stamina, strength and suppleness. Professional sportsmen concentrate on an additional aspect of fitness: motor skills, such as agility, balance, speed, power and coordination. If you become serious about training, you may want to focus on refining a particular skill, such as speed, but most people concentrate on achieving basic fitness first.

personal fitnessIdeally, an individual needs to pursue a range of exercises (that is, cross training) to achieve healthy levels of stamina, strength and suppleness. If you are starting to exercise after a sedentary period, think carefully about what you aim to achieve: losing body fat, creating muscle definition or alleviating health problems, for example. You should also consider your body type when choosing which type of exercise to focus upon. A doctor, physiotherapist or personal trainer will be able to advise you about specific training programmes. The basic advice is to start slowly with simple stretching exercises and gentle aerobic exercise, such as swimming or walking.

In addition to exercising, you will need to pay attention to your diet, smoking habits and alcohol consumption, in order to effectively improve overall physical fitness. Little can be done about genetic make-up or body shape, but there is much you can do to improve your lifestyle, which will have a dramatic impact on your physical and total personal fitness.