In the past few articles, I have explained the importance of flexibility and mobility, and how to improve basic strength. In this month’s edition, we will look at fitness. Ask yourself this question – what does it mean to be fit?
People will have their own perception of what ‘being fit’ actually is. If you were to ask someone randomly, they may reply with one of the following:
- ‘It’s about how you look’
- ‘It’s about your body shape and how much fat or muscle you have’
- ‘It’s about how far you can run or how much exercise you do’
To me, fitness means being able to complete daily tasks without getting tired easily or getting out of breath too quickly.
So what does that mean?
Well, everyday we carry out basic tasks. Some include, walking up and down the stairs or standing in a queue at the bus stop or in a shop, pushing a trolley around a supermarket, running around after a young child. These are just some examples where we need to be fit. As we get older, we will not be able to do some of the above, if we are not fit.
When we do any form of movement or exercise we are working our circulatory system, where blood is pumped around the body by the heart. The blood contains oxygen which gets transported to our muscles to help us move. Our lungs also play a part here by helping the body to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
If we focus on our cardiovascular system by doing exercises or activities that raise our heart rate, we will see our fitness level improve.
Below are some tips on what you can do to improve your fitness level:
- Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
- Stand up every 30 or 60 minutes
- Go for a walk to stretch your legs every hour
- Take a brisk walk every day, faster than your normal walking pace
- Run, cycle, swim once a week
- Walk up 20 steps every day
Initially, you might find yourself getting out of breath from doing some of the exercises but that’s ok, as long as you are not feeling faint or tired. You know your body better than I do, so make sure you don’t over exert yourself. A good way to measure this is using the ‘Rate of Perceived Exertion scale’
This is basically a scale of 1-10 where 1 = easy, very light and 10 = exhausted, can’t do any more and need to stop.
When you are taking any exercise, you can ask yourself this question ‘on a scale of 1-10, how do I feel?’ From the answer, you will be able to judge whether you are working too hard or too lightly. You can then increase the speed or the amount you do. It is important to note, that everyone can improve their fitness – if they work at it.
Check out my Instagram page for more tips and videos @nicky__fitness and my website www.nicky-fitness.com.
Swansea born Nicky is an Award Winning Dubai Personal Trainer, Fitness Tutor & CEO of Nicky Fitness
Good luck! Nicky Fitness