Becoming physically fit is more than just buying a gym membership and hitting the weight machines. There are a few major components that are essential for achieving total body fitness. Of course, you can be trim or muscular without including all of these, however you’ll be missing important pieces of the fitness puzzle and in the long run you’ll feel it. Here are those 5 components.
#1. Eating a healthy diet
The old saying “you are what you eat” has never been more true than it is in today’s society. The commercial driven fast food industry combined with convenience and a busy lifestyle has made many Americans morbidly overweight. This is an epidemic in our children that must be changed soon or we may be the first generation in history to outlive our kids.
A good balance of lean meats, fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables are an essential part of your everyday diet. Also, manage your portions.
#2. Aside from the diet, the proper fitness training is also essential to building and strengthening muscle. Using heavy weights during your workout will help you develop strength, endurance, and muscle mass. Weight training, coupled with the increased caloric and protein intake, will encourage your body to build muscle tissue. As your muscle tissue grows, you will also gain strength. The combination of weight training and the proper diet is a key ingredient to a muscle fitness plan. If the proper combination is not observed, you will burn not only fat but also muscle rather than building it.
#3. Add cardio exercises to your workout program. This is very important as cardio will build up your endurance and strengthen your heart. You can do this by running, cycling, rowing, etc long distances or by other short term, high energy workouts such as hill sprinting, swimming, etc.
#4. Take multi-vitamins and other nutrients. The fresh vegetables that we get at the market today are nowhere near as good for us as they were as recently as the 1950’s and far less than the turn of the 20th century. This is caused by severe erosion of our topsoil and the early harvesting that’s required in order to get our fruits and vegetables to market before they spoil. We’re essentially buying products that aren’t fully matured, therefore they haven’t reached their full nutritional value. The American Medical Association now recommends that every American take a daily multi-vitamin.
#5. Drink lots of water. I’m not talking about calorie filled energy drinks, soda or diet soda, etc, I’m talking about good old h20. Our bodies need a lot of water in order to keep us properly hydrated and to help flush out unhealthy toxins from our systems. Drink 6-8 8 oz. glasses per day for your good health.
While many of the local fitness clubs offer the best in fitness equipment geared toward strength training, it is not absolutely necessary to join a gym just to workout. You can exercise at home as well. There are many different exercise equipment manufacturers out there offering effective weight training machines at very affordable prices. As long as you put your mind to it, have the most basic equipment, and stay consistently aware of your health and fitness, your physical fitness program should work fine as long as you stick with it.