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Are You Fit?

Article care of flexrx.com

by Rocco Boulay

Have you achieved the ultimate fitness? How do you even know if you are fit at all? I think we would all be surprised that most likely, none of us fall into the category that would make us a completely fit individual. If you are completely fit, you can stop reading now. If not, read on!

Take a power lifter who can squat 600 lbs. for eight repetitions but cannot go out and run a mile without gasping for breath. Is he/she fit? Or is someone fit who can run 5 miles but cannot bend over and touch their toes?

The American College of Sports Medicine defines health fitness as having four components: Cardiovascular/Aerobic, Muscular Strength/Endurance, Flexibility, and Body Composition. Cardiovascular conditioning is attained by doing exercises mainly with the muscles of the legs for a sustained period of time, elevating the heart rate into the target zone. This is one of the exercises women seem to do because it is not complicated like weight training and they can get results within weeks.

Flexibility is basically the ability to move the joints through their entire range of motion. This is done by stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments before and after exercise to promote and increase their elasticity.

Muscular strength/endurance is the ability to overcome resistance relative to their bodyweight. For example, a person who weighs 100lbs. who can lift 100lbs. is stronger than someone who weighs 180lbs. and can lift 100lbs. Only resistance training such as weight lifting can improve this area of fitness. This kind of training is the most influential to body composition, the fourth component of fitness. It increases the body's lean mass, which in turn burns more calories. So, the next time you decide to get on an exercise program, remember this — increasing muscle mass will increase your calorie burning capabilities — thereby resulting in more lean body mass.

So now that you know about health fitness — are you totally fit?

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