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Getting Started: The Physical Fitness Fundamentals

Getting Started: The Physical Fitness Fundamentals

getting started with fitness and exercise
Physical fitness does not have to be something you dread. Getting into better shape can be whatever you make of it and it can be something you find enjoyable. Whatever you decide to make of your fitness plan, there are three basic categories to physical fitness that need to be maintained if you want to get into shape and feel great. Muscular strength, aerobic endurance, and flexibility are all vital components to any successful exercise plan and what you decide to do with each of those categories will be entirely up to you.

Everything movement you make uses muscles. Working on strength training will not only help to get you into shape, it will help you do things more easily in your day to day life. Anything from carrying groceries, to mowing your lawn, to folding your laundry can become a whole lot easier once your muscle are a bit better shape. There are many different exercises you can do without or without weight training equipment, and you can decide what intensity to work at, but keep in mind that you need to challenge yourself and use adequate resistance to progress to a higher fitness level.

Cardio training is a key element to keeping your heart and lungs in shape and will be a very important aspect of your workout routine if you are trying to manage your weight. This aspect of physical fitness is so versatile you may find ways to exercise you would never think of as work. If you hate running on a treadmill don’t think you can’t still maintain your aerobic fitness. Try cycling or swimming, or perhaps even just going for a fast paced walk on your lunch break. You will be surprised at how much you can start to enjoy these activities when you see what you can accomplish.

Flexibility is so easy to overlook. Weight training and cardio seem like “exercise” whereas stretching and giving yourself a proper warm up may feel like an optional fitness bonus. Its importance should not be underestimated! Stretching your muscles will go a long way in preventing injury and will help your joints and muscles in your every day activities. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain if you take an extra five minutes before and after your strength and cardio training to stretch out and maintain a good rande of motion.

Each of these three categories is something you can have fun with. You’ll likely discover new past-times you hadn’t thought of trying before such as skiing, mountain biking, or yoga. Once you start seeing the results of your efforts and noticing new abilities you never though you could have, physical fitness will likely become an exciting activity for you that you can’t believe you were ever living without.

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Breathing Techniques For Healthier Exercise

Are you using proper breathing techniques while exercising? It may be something you’ve never even thought about, but it can be a pivotal point in a successful workout. Whether you’re lifting weights (anaerobic) or going for a run (aerobic) your breathing is important in many ways. Even during your warm up stretch, paying attention to your breathing patterns can give you a better workout.


Controlled breathing will go a long way to maintaining a steady workout. During a cardio workout, you’ll have to keep your breathing level heavier than average but you don’t want to be outright panting. If you can talk but your breathing is still laboured you’re probably in the right breathing range. Your breathing is an indication of your heart rate, and with a cardio workout, your heart rate is determining the intensity level of your activity.

Breathing may seem less important while lifting weights but that is most certainly not the case. Do not hold your breath while strength training! Your muscles need that oxygen you’re breathing in and you’ll be able to last a lot longer if you keep your breathing steady.

Blood Flow

Holding your breath in a workout or not breathing evenly can affect your blood pressure. The physical activity you’re doing has already elevated your heart rate, but adding uneven breathing can increase this and that can be dangerous if your blood pressure is already high. You’re working out to be healthier so doing something that could endanger you is only counter-productive.

Maintaining Stress

Not only will proper breathing techniques prolong your workout and keep your heart beating at a safe pace, it can also just relax you and make your workout more enjoyable. While doing your warm up and cool down stretches, take the time to breathe slowly and deliberately. This will focus you and let you really feel the progress your body has made. Controlled breathing will lower your heart rate after an intense workout and will replenish your muscles with the much needed oxygen they have used up.

Your body is a fine tuned machine and even though breathing may seem like a trivial thing it should not be overlooked. Proper breathing will give you a more effective and enjoyable workout so whether your riding a bike, doing bench presses, or holding a difficult yoga pose, just breathe!

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Benefits of Getting at Least 30 Minutes Daily Activity and Movement

You may think getting only 30 minutes of physical activity a day can’t benefit you so why bother, right? Wrong! Even if you just do a little bit of light exercise each day you are helping your body immensely! Taking a half hour walk during your lunch break at work rather than sitting in the lunchroom or jumping on an exercise bike while watching TV instead of sitting on the couch can really impact your fitness level.

Personal Health

Probably the number one reason to stay in shape, being healthy is what keeps you alive! A little bit of exercise can go a long way in keeping your heart, lungs, and the rest of your muscles in good working order. Eating healthy and staying active can prevent so many diseases and will improve your quality of life.

Body Image

Your reason for getting into shape doesn’t need to be so you can look like a super model, but achieving a higher level of physical fitness will not only give you the extra tone you may want in certain areas, it will make you feel more attractive. A regular exercise program can help your self-esteem in multiple ways; the sense of accomplishment you can get from seeing what you’re capable of is invaluable and can make you feel like a superstar. On a purely chemical level, the endorphins released when exercising can give you a sense of euphoria. This may be why many people find exercise so addictive!

Mood and Maintaining Stress

For the same reasons your self esteem will be affected, your mood and stress levels will be more manageable as well. Exercise can be a form of stress relief and pounding out a few miles on the pavement is a sure way to get work or money troubles out of your head for at least a little while. A regular exercise program is sure to leave you more relaxed and at ease with yourself.


There are three aspects to a good fitness routine: cardio, weight training, and flexibility. Incorporating all three of these into your lifestyle will undoubtedly improve how you feel while walking around, doing household chores, or playing with your kids. If you feel that being able to walk up a few flights of stairs with ease is something worth 30 minutes of your day then figure out the right exercise plan for yourself and give it a try. There’s no handbook to physical fitness, so if you aren’t enjoying a particular activity try something else. All you need to do if move your body a little bit every day and you’ll learn what works for you and what doesn’t.

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