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You have taken the important first step on the path to physical fitness by seeking information. The next step is to decide that you are going to be physically fit. This is designed to help you reach that decision and your goal. The decision to carry out a physical fitness program cannot be taken lightly. It requires a lifelong commitment of time and effort. Exercise must become one of those things that you do without question, like bathing and brushing your teeth. Patience is essential. on
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  You have taken the important first step on the path to physical fitness by seeking information. The next step is to decide that you are going to be physically fit. This is designed to help you reach that decision and your goal.The decision to carry out a physical fitness program cannot be taken lightly. It requires a lifelong commitment  of time and effort. Exercise must become one of those things that you do without question,  like bathing and brushing your teeth.   Patience is essential . on!t try to do too much too soon and don!t quit before you have a chance to experience the rewards of improved fitness. You can!t regain in a few days or weeks what you have lost in years of sedentary living, but you can get it back if you  persevere. nd the pri#e is worth the price.This basic information will help you to begin and maintain a personal physical fitness  program. These guidelines are intended for the average healthy adult. It tells you what your goals should be and how often, how long and how hard you must exercise to achieve them. It also includes information that will make your workouts easier, safer and more satisfying. The rest is up to you. $%E$&I'( Y)*+ %E T%If you!re under - and in good health, you don!t need to see a doctor before beginning an exercise program. /ut if you are over - and have been inactive for several years, you should consult your physician, who may or may not recommend a graded exercise test. )ther conditions that indicate a need for medical clearance are0  High blood pressure Heart trouble  Family history of early stroke or heart attack deaths  Frequent dizzy spells  Extreme breathlessness after mild exertion  Arthritis or other bone problems Severe muscular, ligament or tendon problems ther kno!n or suspected disease   f you are taking or considering cholesterol reducing drugs, 1igorous exercise involves minimal health risks for persons in good health or those following a doctor!s advice. 2ar greater risks are present by habitual inactivity and obesity.E2I'I'( 2IT'E334hysical fitness is to the human body what fine tuning is to an engine. It enables us to  perform up to our potential. 2itness can be described as a condition that helps us look, feel and do our best. 5ore specifically, it is0 6The ability to perform daily tasks vigorously and alertly, with energy left over for en7oying leisure8time activities and meeting emergency demands. It is the ability to endure, to bear up, to withstand stress, to  carry on in circumstances where an unfit person could not continue, and is a ma7or basis for good health and well8being.64hysical fitness involves the performance of the heart and lungs, and the muscles of the  body. nd, since what we do with our bodies also affects what we can do with our minds,fitness influences to some degree qualities such as mental alertness and emotional stability. s you undertake your fitness program, it!s important to remember that fitness is an individual quality that varies from person to person. It is influenced by age, sex, heredity,  personal habits, exercise and eating practices. You can!t do anything about the first three factors. %owever, it is within your power to change and improve the others where needed.&')9I'( T%E / 3I$34hysical fitness is most easily understood by examining its components, or 6parts.6 Thereis widespread agreement that these four components are basic. Cardio respiratory Endurance - the ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues, and to remove wastes, over sustained periods of time. Long runs and swims are among the methods employed in measuring this component. Muscular Strength - the ability of a muscle to exert force for a brief period of time. pper-body strength, for example, can be measured by various weight-lifting exercises. Muscular Endurance - the ability of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to sustain repeated contractions or to continue applying force against a fixed ob!ect. ushups areoften used to test endurance of arm and shoulder muscles.#lexibility - the ability to move !oints and use muscles through their full range of motion. $he sit-and-reach test is a good measure of flexibility of the lower bac% and bac%s of the upper legs. /ody $omposition is often considered a component of fitness. It refers to the makeup of the body in terms of lean mass :muscle, bone, vital tissue and organs; and fat mass. n optimal ratio of fat to lean mass is an indication of fitness, and the right types of exercise will help you decrease body fat and increase or maintain muscle mass. 9)+&)*T 3$%E*E %ow often, how long and how hard you exercise, and what kinds of exercises you do should be determined by what you are trying to accomplish. Your goals, your present fitness level, age, health, skills, interest and convenience are among the factors you should consider. 2or example, an athlete training for high8level competition would followa different program than a person whose goals are good health and the ability to meet work and recreational needs.  Your exercise program should include something from each of the four basic fitness components described previously. Each workout should begin with a warm8up and end with a cool down. s a general rule, space your workouts throughout the week and avoid consecutive days of hard exercise.%ere are the amounts of activity necessary for the average, healthy person to maintain a minimum level of overall fitness. Included are some of the popular exercises for each category. &'(M - )-*+ minutes of exercises such as wal%ing, slow !ogging, %nee lifts, arm circles or trun% rotations. Low intensity movements that stimulate movements to be used in the activity can also be included in the warm-up. MSCL'( S$(E$ - a minimum of two /+-minute sessions per wee% that include exercises for all the ma!or muscle groups. Lifting weights is the most effective way to increase strength. MSCL'( E0('CE - at least three 1+-minute sessions each wee% that includeexercises such as calisthenics, pushups, situps, pullups, and weight training for all the ma!or muscle groups. C'(023(ES 2('$3(4 E0('CE - at least three /+-minute bouts of continuous aerobic 5activity re6uiring oxygen7 rhythmic exercise each wee%. opular aerobic conditioning activities include bris% wal%ing, !ogging, swimming, cycling, rope-!umping, rowing, cross-country s%iing, and some continuous action games li%e rac6uetball and handball.#LE8292L2$4 - *+-*/ minutes of daily stretching exercises performed slowly without a bouncing motion. $his can be included after a warm up or during a cool down.C33L 03& - a minimum of )-*+ minutes of slow wal%ing, low-level exercise, combined with stretching. A MATTER OF PRI!IP E The keys to selecting the right kinds of exercises for developing and maintaining each of the basic components of fitness are found in these principles03pecificity 8 pick the right kind of activities to affect each component. 3trength training results in specific strength changes. lso, train for the specific activity you!re interested in. 2or example, optimal swimming performance is best achieved when the muscles involved in swimming are trained for the movements required. It does not necessarily follow that a good runner is a good swimmer.)verload 8 work hard enough, at levels that are vigorous and long enough to overload your body above its resting level, to bring about improvement.+egularity 8 you can!t hoard physical fitness. t least three balanced workouts a week are necessary to maintain a desirable level of fitness.4rogression 8 increase the intensity, frequency and<or duration of activity over periods of time in order to improve.3ome activities can be used to fulfill more than one of your basic exercise requirements. 2or example, in addition to increasing cardiorespiratory endurance, running builds muscular endurance in the legs, and swimming develops the arm, shoulder and chest  muscles. If you select the proper activities, it is possible to fit parts of your muscular endurance workout into your cardiorespiratory workout and save time. MEA#$RI% &O$R 'EART RATE %eart rate is widely accepted as a good method for measuring intensity during running, swimming, cycling and other aerobic activities. Exercise that doesn!t raise your heart rate to a certain level and keep it there for => minutes won!t contribute significantly to cardiovascular fitness.The heart rate you should maintain is called your Target %eart +ate. There are several ways of arriving at this figure. )ne of the simplest is0 5aximum %eart +ate :==> 8 age; ?@>A. Thus, the target heart rate for a B> year8old would be C=D.3ome methods for figuring the target rate take individual differences into consideration. %ere is one of them. C. 3ubtract age from ==> to find 5aximum %eart +ate.=. 3ubtract resting heart rate :see below; from maximum heart rate to determine %eart +ate +eserve.-. Take @>A of heart rate reserve to determine %eart +ate +aise.B. dd heart rate raise to resting heart rate to find Target +ate.+esting heart rate should be determined by taking your pulse after sitting quietly for five minutes. 9hen checking heart rate during a workout, take your pulse within five seconds after interrupting exercise because it starts to go down once you stop moving. $ount  pulse for C> seconds and multiply by six to get the per8minute rate. !OTRO I% &O$R (EI%'T The key to weight control is keeping energy intake :food; and energy output :physical activity; in balance. 9hen you consume only as many calories as your body needs, your weight will usually remain constant. If you take in more calories than your body needs, you will put on excess fat. If you expend more energy than you take in you will burn excess fat.Exercise plays an important role ink weight control by increasing energy output, calling on stored calories for extra fuel. +ecent studies show that not only does exercise increase metabolism during a workout, but it causes your metabolism to stay increased for a  period of time after exercising, allowing you to burn more calories.%ow much exercise is needed to make a difference in your weight depends on the amountand type of activity, and on how much you eat. erobic exercise burns body fat. medium8si#ed adult would have to walk more than -> miles to burn up -,>> calories, theequivalent of one pound of fat. lthough that may seem like a lot, you don!t have to walk the -> miles all at once. 9alking a mile a day for -> days will achieve the same result,  providing you don!t increase your food intake to negate the effects of walkingIf you consume C>> calories a day more than your body needs, you will gain approximately C> pounds in year. You could take that weight off, or keep it off, by doing -> minutes of moderate exercise daily. The combination of exercise and diet offers the most flexible and effective approach to weight control.3ince muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue, and exercise develops muscle to a certain degree, your bathroom scale won!t necessarily tell you whether or not you are
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