Physical fitness is an essential part of life, allowing us to perform daily activities with ease and maintain good health and longevity. Experts define physical fitness as “a person's ability to perform daily activities with optimal performance, endurance and strength, while controlling disease, fatigue and stress, and reducing sedentary behavior. This definition goes beyond being able to run fast or lift heavy weights. Fitness refers to the ability of your body's systems to work together efficiently to allow you to be healthy and perform the activities of daily living.
Being efficient means performing daily activities with as little effort as possible. A person in good shape is able to do their homework, fulfill household responsibilities, and still have enough energy to enjoy sports and other leisure activities. They can respond effectively to normal life situations, such as raking leaves at home, stocking shelves at a part-time job, or marching in the band at school. They can also respond to emergency situations, such as running for help or helping a friend in distress. Michael Jonesco, DO, assistant professor of internal and sports medicine at the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University in Columbus, agrees. Today, there are more tools available than ever before for fitness enthusiasts to track, measure and monitor their progress.
Fitness includes cardiovascular function, which is improved by aerobic activities that make the heart and lungs work faster. It also includes muscle strength, flexibility and balance. You don't need to buy expensive equipment to improve your fitness - walking is an example of a form of physical activity that is available to almost everyone. Many tasks around the house and garden can also help build strength. Once maintained, physical fitness has been found to be correlated with stress and anxiety reduction, mood improvement, prevention and treatment of diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension or high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and even helps delay progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
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