Just what is fitness anyway?

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The word fitness can be used to mean the condition of being physically fit and healthy, or can mean the quality of being suitable to fulfil a particular role or task.

Fitness is a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. 

That’s it.

The Encyclopedia of Behavioural Medicine defines physical fitness as “one’s ability to execute daily activities with optimal performance, endurance, and strength with the management of disease, fatigue, and stress and reduced sedentary behaviour.”

It’s therefore much broader than just physicality, but also includes mental acuity, cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition, and flexibility.

Fitness can appear in many forms.  Fitness needs a primary source of purpose to really define it.  For example, being fit to run a marathon and being fit to walk down the street can look completely different.  Someone may be physically able to run that marathon, however lack the mental resilience or focus to be able to complete it.

So when you picture someone who is fit & healthy, what do you visualise? What does a fit person look like?  Can you be fit and be unhealthy, or vice versa?  Before you decide whether or not you are fit, you need to work out what it is you actually want to be fit for:

Can you do it now? 

If you can, then you are fit for purpose. Give yourself a big pat on the back and go about your day. If not….

Would it be achievable if you worked towards making changes?

This it the toughest of all the questions.  If you are a 30 something who has never set foot in a gym in your entire life, I would say a goal of being an Olympic athlete or Mr Olympia is gonna be a pretty tough one to achieve.  Not impossible.. but it’s going to take a HELL of a lot of work and dedication. 

It really pays to work out how badly do you want to actually be able to undertake that goal or activity?  Being able to run around and play football with your kids might have a higher priority and therefore be easier to achieve than that Olympic gold medal, mostly because you have the emotional motivation (spending time with your kids) to keep going when things start looking tough.  It’s a simple work&reward balance.  How bad do you want it, and what price are you willing to pay for it.

What do you need to improve that you are currently lacking?

In order to determine this, you need to understand yourself and your abilities, in terms of :

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness. How well the body can supply fuel during physical activity via the body’s circulatory and respiratory systems, i.e your heart and lung health.
  • Muscular strength. Anything that works a muscle until it is tired will increase muscle strength over time.
  • Muscular endurance. The ability of a muscle to continue exerting force without tiring.
  • Body composition. The relative amounts of muscle, bone, water, and fat an individual has.
  • The range of movement across a joint.
  • Mental acuity. Things considered in determining a person's mental acuity are memory, focus, concentration, and understanding.
  • Mental resilience. The ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of disadvantage or adverse conditions.

Once you work out which of these areas require improvement to achieve your goal (and it might be a combination of two or more of these) you can tailor your “fitness plan” to suit.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that if you want to build strength you have to join a gym, or you have to do yoga if you need flexibility.  It’s more that you can tailor your preferred activity towards the fitness goals you want to achieve.

If you want to make your workout sessions and fitness goals a bit more entertaining, whether flexing in the gym, out and about with your daily activities, or just actively hanging at home, CBF can give you the comfort and charm you are looking for.

With products to choose from that can suit your chosen fitness plan and style you can be sure to find something that will make you feel great. Sizes starting in XS up to 5XL.

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