Getting fit is your life. Your fitness level determines your health, your energy level and your capacity for accomplishing tasks requiring physical exertions. A very simple activity likes walking up the staircase, which some people do with great difficulty (panting and gasping for air) and even a pleasurable activity like sex require some level of fitness.
Plenty cases of sudden death where people complain of mild headache and drop dead before getting medical attention or people dieing of heart attack while having sex, could be attributed to poor fitness.
The Would Health Organization (WHO) describes fitness/health as the energy and potential for survival, performance, and achievement in physical, mental, and social domains. The better the health or fitness level of an individual, the stronger and more enduring are the structures and functions of various organs and the more accurate, faultless, and stable are their regulations at rest and when challenged by internal or environmental factors. So, fitness is holistic-physical, mental and spiritual.
Physical Activity and Fitness
To be physically fit, we must engage in a great deal of physical activity. God carefully and beautifully designed and fitted man with the skeletal system, comprising of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons for performing a wide range of movements. When we do not engage the body to make the movements it was designed to make, the body begins to rot and all manner of sickness begin to develop.
The technological revolution which brought about the development of faster, easier, modern ways of movements and transportations-bicycle, motorcycle, cars, airplanes, speed boats, ocean liners, space craft has, unfortunately, contributed in denying many people the use of their limbs.
Products of technology are beneficial to modern man but some dire consequences could result when some technological products are unwisely used. For example, the use of cars and lifts in buildings has made many people sedentary and lazy! One of the major consequences of inactivity is obesity. And its health implications are devastating.
What Constitutes Physical Activity?
Many people believe that they have to go to a gym five times a week to be fit and if they can’t find the time to do that, they can’t do anything. That’s not true. Yes, it is good to go to a gym if you can afford one. You can even have your own personal gym in your home and hire a personal trainer. Most fitness-conscious people and celebrities like super models, musicians and movie stars have their personal trainers.
At the first meeting of the International Physical Activity Network, in Berlin in April 1999, the concept of physical activity was define in line with the research evidence of Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA). The following working definition was adopted for the development of the physical activity: “Physical activity consists of bodily movements produced by the skeletal muscle contraction that increase energy expenditure above the basal level. Physical activity manifests itself in work or education, transport, domestic chores and recreation and its key characteristics are frequency intensity, duration and continuation”. This definition makes it clear that not only leisure-time sports and exercise are included, but also common lifestyle activities that are carried out a work (e.g. physical labour), at home (e.g. house work, gardening) and as transport (e.g. walking, cycling). The current general recommendation for health-enhancing physical activity calls for a total of half an hour of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week.
The point is that you can keep fit by making simple life-style changes. Sedentary executives who hardly exercise should use the staircase rather than the elevator; you can sometimes personally wash your cars on Saturday morning, help out in cleaning the home and do your gardening. In these days of fuel shortage, save yourself from unnecessary stress park that car and do some brisk waling if where you are going is within a 30 minutes radius. Take change of your domestic chores. Give your househelp a break. Do some of your laundry yourself. To do your shopping, park that car distance away from your destination and walk briskly. Carry some load on your arms, it will go a long way to firm up that Christian mother hand’ (turkey arm).
All this helpful to keep fit but not sufficient to register any significant weight loss more work is required to lose weight. And weight loss is case, if your are determined to achieve it. I believe you noted the four ingredients that make for an effective physical activity - Frequency, intensity, Duration and Continuation.