What is Fitness?
Fitness, is simply being physically prepared for whatever physical activity you may need, or want, to undertake. Therefore fitness is highly specific to whatever activity is being discussed; for example if you are fit for walking then you may not be very fit for running. This may sound contrary to the traditional notion of fitness, where you were either “fit” or not; or on some sort of scale of fitness (“he’s very fit”, she’s not that fit”). However the true notion of fitness is related to how physically prepared or suited to a certain activity, this is why Olympic weightlifters can be called very fit, despite most of them not being able to run a 10k any better than a less-than-average runner. They are fit for lifting heavy weights dynamically, they are not fit for sustained running!
Fitness for everyday life
Let’s face it, being fit for the average adult’s life isn’t hard; if you consider most people work at a desk for about 8 hours a day and sleep another 8, that only leaves 8 hours where the body may have to do something other than sleeping or sitting! Therefore being fit for an average sedentary lifestyle is very easy, but who wants to just be fit for everyday life?!
We are all becoming more and more aware of the importance of exercise as part of a healthy and happy lifestyle and as a result more of us actually want to find time to exercise. So finding ways of integrating fitness training into your everyday routine can be a very efficient way of exercising.
So now more and more people are deciding to walk , run or cycle to work; instead of taking the car or public transport. More and more people are now taking their gym or running kit to work so they can exercise on their lunchbreak; even taking the stairs or doing some air squats in a spare moment can make a difference to your daily activity levels. As a result of this shift in attitude towards fitness many of the technology companies have developed activity monitors such as the Polar Loop which monitor all of your daily moments and let you know through an app how active you have been each day. They make understanding of whether or not you are getting enough physical activity during your average day very easy and can be a real eye opener!
So if you are finding it difficult to get enough exercise after work or in your free time, or want to boost the time you already spend exercising. Then why not consider integrating it into your daily routine somehow?
Here are our top 10 tips for making fitness activities part of your everyday life:
- Try to replace your usual transport with either Walking, Running or Cycling where possible.
- Pack your gym kit or running kit with your work stuff in the evening so you remember to take it with you and therefore are more likely to exercise on your lunchbreak.
- If you already have a physical job, remember that your body adapts very well to what you do, so within a few months of doing the same activity it will have very little benefit as exercise; so why not try doing what you do faster, harder, or in a slightly different way to trick your body into adapting (and therefore improving).
- If you have any spare moments during the day, in between work tasks or daily activities; you could try doing a few air squats, push ups, burpees, lunges or other calisthenic-type activities.
- If you have children giving them a lift or “plane ride” in your arms several times a day will be a good additional activity and will be great fun for the kids.
- If you already walk anywhere, take a backpack with you and add a few heavy items, this additional weight will increase the workload and therefore contribute towards additional daily activity.
- Always choose the stairs over the escalator or lift.
- If you have a desk job, simply getting up and walking around more often than you already do, will help in adding to your daily activity amount; if you make lots of calls on a mobile phone, then getting in the habit of standing and walking when on your mobile phone will also help.
- When you wake up, you could try doing a few sit ups in bed before you wake up, this is an excellent way of getting the blood flowing when you wake and also as it is not normal for most people to exercise so early, this will really shock the body first thing in the morning and therefore have a better effect.
- Wearing wrist or ankle weights while doing simple housework or gardening to add extra resistance and therefore additional activity.
So that’s it, give yourself the opportunity to add extra fitness activities into your daily routine for improved overall fitness as well as potentially improving your sport performance.