Health-related fitness is achieved through regular physical activity. The benefits of physical activity include a healthy heart and lungs (cardio respiratory fitness), increased flexibility, and muscular strength and endurance. Health-related fitness helps you feel your best and reduces the risk of heart attack, colon cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Being fit helps you to have more energy throughout the day for work or school, and energy left over to enjoy your leisure time.
Most experts agree that there are three kinds of fitness:
- Flexibility is the ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion. Stretching is a flexibility exercise.
- Aerobic (cardiorespiratory) fitness is the body's ability to use oxygen efficiently and depends upon the condition of your heart, lungs, and muscles. This type of fitness increases the amount of oxygen that is delivered to your muscles, which allows them to work longer. Walking, running, and kick boxing are types of aerobic exercise.
- Muscular fitness includes building stronger muscles and increasing how long you can use them (endurance). Resistance training through weight lifting and body movements such as push-ups can improve muscular fitness.
Keep in mind that you may be fairly fit in one area (perhaps aerobic fitness), but just getting started with another (such as flexibility or muscle strengthening).
Compulsive exercising, also called over-exercising or obligatory exercising, is when an individual engages in strenuous physical activity to the point that is unsafe and unhealthy.
Over-exercisers typically work out beyond the limits of safety. They will find ways to work out even if it means cutting school, taking time off from work, getting too little sleep, or missing social events. Sufferers typically feel severe guilt when they cannot exercise, and rarely consider their workouts fun or enjoyable.
The risks with this disorder are both physical and emotional. All too often, a sufferer may see deterioration of their personal relationships, or failure at work or school. Many who exercise compulsively become socially withdrawn. The physical risks are numerous. A very real risk with this disorder is dehydration if the sufferer is not drinking enough fluids. Over-exercise can also lead to insomnia, depression, and fatigue. Additional physical side effects include muscular and skeletal injuries, like shin splits, bone fractures, arthritis, or damage to cartilage and ligaments. Females may no longer menstruate, a condition called amenorrhea.
*Both the Rec Center and Rec Plex offer
FREE fitness assessments for current students and members. Fitness assessments include: nutritional analysis, body composition, strength testing, flexibility testing, aerobic capacity and blood pressure. For more information, click here.
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