Defining Fitness

While a great many of us benefit from maintaining a healthy fitness level, there are many more that do not, through a general lack of activity throughout their day. With the rise in numbers of office workers and people who now work at home thanks to the Internet and affordability of personal computers and laptops, there is a similar rise in obesity figures because more and more people are not getting any or getting too little exercise!

Sometimes, it is difficult to find the time to get that essential exercise, especially if the work that a person does means they have to spend very long hours doing it and afterwards they are simply too fatigued to want to change into a tracksuit and go for an evening run! While those that are fit and have the motivation to find the time to exercise may believe that in theory, those who don't are just finding excuses not to exercise, the reality is far different from the theory.

So, bearing health in mind, how does one define fitness and what should people aim for?

Activity Levels

Fitness is attained through a variety of different physical activities and the level of fitness will depend to some extent on the amount of exercise taken and how strenuous that exercise is. It will also depend on the size, shape and weight of the person taking the exercise. It stands to reason that a small, thin person will need far less exercise to maintain a good level of fitness than will a tall person of medium to large build, such as in weight training or resistance training.

For instance, a larger, stronger person will be able to lift heavier weights and for longer than a smaller, lighter person would be able to but they could both be determined to have the same fitness levels. Similarly, in general a person of slim build is better equipped to be able to run further and for longer that a larger, more heavily muscled person would be able to do.

So the optimum activity level for a person to achieve a good level of fitness depends to some extent on their starting height, build and muscle mass as well as other factors such as fat to muscle ratio, starting fitness level and general lifestyle and activity level as much as it will depend on the amount of activity undertaken on a regular basis.

Less is Not Necessarily More

When it comes to working out and aiming for a greater level of fitness, it is generally accepted that the more a person can do in the way of exercises and for longer, then the more fit they will become. This is not always true, but in most cases it is. It is one of those cases of "less" not necessarily being "more" but instead, more being more desirable.

The best rule of thumb in aiming for your own optimum level of fitness is to workout or train, as you prefer, as much as is comfortable to you as long as you feel like you are benefiting. There are no time limits to this and you will be able to experience your fitness getting better over time.

This is possible because of the way the body reacts to regular exercise. After a while at a particular level, the body becomes used to it, where at the outset it would have seemed hard work.

Then it is natural to train a little harder and for a little longer each day or each week or whatever time frame is inside you own individual comfort zone. Your body will continue to adapt to the additional workload and will grow in stamina and strength to be able to carry out the extra as an on-going strategy.

The end result is a good level of fitness that suits the individual, which is as much as anyone can ask for. When you feel good, with plenty of energy and vitality, then you can assume that you are pretty much where you want to be in terms of fitness for your own personal circumstances.