Optimum physical fitness is often defined as the condition you achieve from a lifestyle that includes cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular strength and maintenance of an ideal body weight. Simply defined, you must include each of these areas in your fitness programs.
* Cardiovascular endurance (aerobic fitness) is the ability of your heart and lungs to do their job! To deliver oxygen to exercising muscles – without gasping for air. Endurance allows you to play tennis or get out and play basketball with your kids.
* Flexibility (range of motion) is the amount of movement that can be accomplished at a joint. Range of motion keeps you young, reduces injury risk and improves performance. A lengthened muscle is potentially a stronger one.
* Muscular strength (strength training) is the maximum amount of force a single muscle or muscle group can develop during a single contraction. Despite what many women think – they need to lift weights! Plain and simple – muscle burns fat and increases metabolism. Physical stress determines bone strength as well as muscular strength – greatly reducing the risk for osteoporosis.
* Healthy body weight. Well, we all imagine what our ideal weight is; but in reality healthy body weight consists of fat and fat-free weight (bones, muscles, organs). More importantly, body fat percentages for fit women should be about 21-24% and for men, about 14-17%.
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