Physical fitness comprises the 3s - stamina, strength and suppleness. One exercise can benefit more than one area. For instance, jogging can improve your stamina and suppleness at the same time. Most forms of sports, work, and recreational activities include elements of aerobic fitness. A range of physical activities thus ensures total fitness.
Stamina or endurance involves the ability to sustain physical activity for prolonged periods.
Generally speaking, any activity which lasts more than 12 minutes is considered aerobic. The term "aerobic" implies that the oxygen utilization by the body was the principle factor in accomplishing the task.
Stronger muscles can mean either more powerful muscles that can do better jobs (such as lifting heavier objects) or muscles that will work longer before becoming exhausted (stamina).
As you increase your muscle strength, you will notice that you can carry heavier grocery bags more easily; pick up children without feeling as much strain; or carry heavy item longer before becoming too tired to continue.
Having stronger muscles also protects your joints. A program for increasing muscle strength could include the following:
Your muscles are repeatedly shortened when they are used, especially when exercising. They need to be slowly and regularly stretched to counteract the repeated shortening.
This stretching results in suppleness or flexibility - the ability to move joints and muscles through their full range of motion. As you become more flexible, you will find it easier to reach things on high shelves, to bend lower and perhaps, tie your shoe lace.
Flexibility exercises should include the calves, triceps, groin muscles, and hamstrings.
Doing stretches for 10 to 12 minutes a day is generally recommended. This can easily be worked into your daily routine.
When exercising, begin slowly and increase your efforts gradually and it is not necessary to get one day's exercise in one session. For example, walking 10 minutes, 3 times a day is about equal to 30 minutes once a day.
However, working longer (measured in total time) is better than working harder. This is true for up to one hour of exercise per day. Beyond that, there may be fewer health benefits and increasing risk of injuries.
Although in aerobic exercise, working longer provides more benefits than working harder, you do need to exercise hard enough to increase your heart rate to the point where it is 60% to 80% of its maximum.
If you can't find a time during the day, exercise right after getting up in the morning. That way you will complete the exercises before your life gets too busy and you miss your chance.
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