Importance of Physical Fitness – What is it and Why Do You Need It?

The importance of physical fitness in your life is something that should never be taken lightly.

While you may know that physical fitness is “good for you” you may lack some of the key points as to why you need to include it in your life.

But before you can understand the importance of physical fitness we must first take a look at what physical fitness is.

In general terms, fitness is the use of your body through movements beyond that of your normal bodily functions that simply keep you alive. What I mean is this, fitness is really anything that moves your body and forces it to exert energy greater than your bodies normal living functions like breathing, eating, use of your senses, heart beat, etc.

Physical fitness can be anything from walking up and down stairs, going for a walk on your local back woods trail, swimming in your pool, going for a run, weight lifting, competing in sports, and more.

I wanted to start with the simple things because some people get deterred when it comes to actually pushing to do high levels of fitness like weight lifting and running. What you need to understand is that even going for a simple 20 minute walk several times a week is the first step to adding physical fitness into your life.

Let’s take a closer look into the importance of physical fitness and break down the different kinds of fitness, how you achieve them, and what some benefits are.

Anaerobic Exercise or Resistance training has to do with pushing your muscular system by overloading beyond it’s normal capacities.

The best way to achieve anaerobic exercise is by lifting weights. The idea is to achieve “burn out” within 6-10 reps. What I mean is you should be able to complete a particular movement like bicep curls with a weight that allows you to retain perfect body form (to prevent injury) while not being able to complete any more than 10 reps but no less than 6.

Anaerobic exercise focuses on muscular power and strength and is a great way to add extra lean muscle mass over a period of time with proper diet and nutrition combined with a workout schedule.

Keep in mind when planning an anaerobic schedule that your muscles need time to recover and become stronger. You should never work the same muscle groups day after day without giving a day to rest and recover in between. i.e. don’t work your biceps 4 days in a row.

Aerobic exercise is physical fitness that targets your cardiovascular system (Your heart, lungs, and ability to carry oxygen throughout the body while removing toxins).

Some of the most popular aerobic exercises are running, swimming, and lifting light weight with 15+ repetitions (unlike the 6-10 with anaerobic exercise).

we can define Aerobic fitness as the increase in heart rate and energy exertion beyond your normal resting limits that forces you to sustain a high level heart rate for 20 or more minutes at a time.

To achieve an optimal level in aerobic exercise you must achieve and sustain a high heart rate ranging usually between 140-160 BPM (Beats per Minute).

Keep in mind that your heart is a muscle, aerobic exercise causes your heart to beat faster and more often during the exertion which over time will add strength to your heart. In time the benefits will show even when you are not working out because your heart will become much more efficient.

Most athletes have a resting heart rate of around 40 BPM where the normal out of shape junk food junky may range as low as 60 BPM upwards to 70-80 BPM which means their heart has to beat almost twice as much to get the same oxygen flow through the body to feed the cells and muscles.

So combined aerobic and anaerobic exercise has an obvious advantage to your body and proves the importance of physical fitness in your life.

You will feel better because your muscles (including your heart) get stronger, your body becomes more balanced and delivers oxygen better plus removes toxins at a faster rate. Remember that consistency is key to achieving a healthier lifestyle. Once a week of fitness is better than nothing but 3+ times week is preferable.

There are other roles that play into the importance of physical fitness like diet, nutrition, and rest but the idea is to start small where ever you are and to work your way up.

Now keep in mind when adding fitness into your life whatever your choice may be, your rest is equally as important as the fitness itself. You see fitness alone is the destructive part, your rest is where your body recovers and rebuilds to become stronger and more efficient for the next time you exert it.

So a balance between physical fitness and rest are two very important key components to a healthy lifestyle.

  • Feel Better
  • Look Better
  • Become more efficient
  • Think more Clearly
  • Become less stressed

And so many other positive factors that can be contributed to exercise. So the importance of physical fitness is quite clear, get it into your life no matter what your level is today. You will improve and you will get stronger over time.

Your first step is to make the decision to stop saying you want to do it and just simply do something about it! Take action and realize the mindset that you and only you have the power to change your body, take control in the moment and seize your opportunity to get healthier and achieve high levels of physical fitness.

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