What is fitness and what benefits does it have?
Physical activity, a healthy lifestyle, a fit beautiful body — that makes us confident in the future. Millions of people spend time in gyms, monitor their nutrition and lose weight: fitness has not only become a fashionable trend for many, but has become an urgent need, made it possible to make your life full and vibrant.
What is fitness?
So what is this popular phenomenon and what are they doing on fitness? There is a word from the English verb to fit — keep yourself in shape, be healthy. However, in order to constantly be in good shape, physical activity alone is not enough — you need exercises, giving up bad habits, proper rest and a healthy diet — this is the basis of the concept.
Fitness is not just physical education or physical activity, it is a whole philosophy of existence that organically combines sports, an active lifestyle, proper nutrition and healthy optimism. This is the fruit of many years of practical experience of specialists, which is embodied in special training programs designed to strengthen health and spirit. The main objective of fitness is not to achieve sports performance, but to make a person’s life full, joyful and healthy, to teach them to conquer new horizons.
Important! Fitness should be distinguished from shaping, invented in the 80s in the USSR and including, in addition to training, a specific nutrition system that promotes weight loss.
From the history of fitness
In fact, even our distant primitive ancestors were engaged in fitness, without realizing it: physical activity helped the ancients survive. And in ancient Greece, there was a cult of a beautiful body with a healthy spirit in it: the foundations of the harmonious development of personality were laid precisely in the ancient era, and great minds — Aristotle, Hippocrates, Plato — were also involved in this. At the time of the Olympic Games, wars stopped, which speaks of the deep worship of the Greeks before sports.
It is interesting! Fitness classes to music began in ancient Greece: back then it was noticed that gymnastic exercises with musical accompaniment are more effective.
And in ancient India, the philosophy of the harmonious development of the body and soul was embodied in yoga, which is popular in the third millennium.
Although the term fitness itself appeared in the USA in the 70s of the XX century, the first specialized programs were developed to train American soldiers during the Second World War. Active work continued on the introduction of a new system at the end of the 20th century, when the US government was seriously concerned about the health status of its citizens. Under the President, a special Fitness Council was created, which, in addition to politicians, included the best trainers and sports professionals, psychologists and medical specialists. The Council was tasked with promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, physical development. And already in the late 80s, fitness gained such popularity that it began to deal with all sectors of the population — from the worker to the millionaire. And in the post-Soviet space, the foundations of fitness were laid, thanks to mass physical culture events and a developed network of sports sections.
Today, free sections have gone down in history, but the network of modern fitness clubs that once appeared in the USA as part of the struggle for the health of the nation is growing. And the number of fitness fans has quadrupled in recent decades!
Good to know! Many reacted to the opening of the first domestic fitness clubs, especially business people, with skepticism: serious explanatory work was carried out in the 90s. The founders had to convince people of the benefits of classes and learn how to do it properly. And only the first serious results convinced skeptics and served to widely popularize the direction.
Why fitness is good
Fitness is a philosophy that needs to find a place in your life, because hobby for it as a result provides many advantages and benefits. What are the benefits of fitness for a person?
Improving the body: normalizing metabolism, digestion, strengthening the cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular systems, increasing immunity;
a slender, fit figure, a beautiful body;
development of coordination of movements, the formation of proper posture, gait;
prevention of osteoporosis, thrombosis;
reduction of stressful effects on the body, reduction of nervous tension;
improvement of general well-being, surge of energy, vitality, increase of working capacity;
development of an active life position.
It is interesting. According to studies, fitness classes normalize blood sugar levels for seven minutes.
Thanks to fitness, you will become more resilient and stronger, more flexible. Everything in the complex contributes to the development of self-confidence, stimulates the conquest of new peaks. A person seeks to realize himself as fully as possible, which means he becomes more successful.
The main types of fitness
In fitness, there are many areas, each of which is a separate type of sports. Everyone who is going to do fitness chooses the direction according to the capabilities of the body and depending on the tasks set for itself. We note only the most popular types of fitness.
Aerobics and its subspecies
This direction, based on exercises for the development of muscles, plastics and proper breathing, has several varieties:
dance (afro, latino, zumba, funk, belly dance, on a pole, etc.), distinguished by movements characteristic of a particular type of dance;
step aerobics performed using a special platform;
aerobics slide, where exercises are similar to the movements of skiers or skaters;
kick aerobics: the development of plastics is combined with strength training;
tracking aerobics — classes on a treadmill at intervals and a change in the slope and speed of the simulator;
pump-aerobics — a type of strength training using a mini-barbell, exercises with inclines, bench presses, squats (a mixture of aerobics with bodybuilding);
Bicycle aerobics — cardio loading on a simulator, differs from ordinary exercises on a stationary bike in that it simulates a competition — a group cycling in various modes.
The advantages of aerobics in all its modifications: a strong, tightened relief body, strengthening muscles, respiratory system. And one more thing: group trainings evoke a competitive spirit and stimulate to achieve new results, contribute to a good mood. The result of such classes can be acquaintances and meetings with interesting people.
A special kind of fitness, which involves performing physical exercises in water to music. Significant advantages of this method are good results and safety for the body. High efficiency classes due to loads on all muscles of the body. Water having a higher density than air has resistance to movements in all directions, thus increasing the load. And one more thing: the temperature in the pool is lower than the body temperature in order to keep warm, the body must spend calories, which means they are burned additionally. In addition, such exercises are safe, since water «extinguishes» the body weight and reduces the load on the spine and joints.
Advantages of aquafitness — prevention of obesity, cellulitis, varicose veins; losing weight; strengthening the cardiovascular system, stabilizing blood pressure.
It is interesting. Classes are held at great depths with the use of an inflatable belt and in shallow water, where a person stands on his feet. Thus, to do exercises in the water, you do not need to be able to swim.
The training system, named after its founder, a set of exercises to develop flexibility and individual muscle groups. In addition to healing and weight loss, Pilates serves as a means of post-traumatic recovery, including, it is recommended after spinal injury.
Pilates develops endurance and flexibility, the correct activation of muscles, improves metabolic processes and posture, teaches control over the body and breathing. Classes help relieve stress and relax, are recommended even for pregnant women.
Other names for walking are Northern, Nordic or Finnish. This is a special movement technique using specially designed sticks. An effective tool for training the cardiovascular system and developing endurance, returning to a full life for people with problems and injuries of the musculoskeletal system.
The name of the type of fitness comes from the English word “stretching”. The course is based on exercises for stretching muscles and ligaments. The advantages of stretching: improving the elasticity of various muscle groups, blood circulation, relieving tension, burning subcutaneous fat, leaving cellulite.
One of the commercial types of fitness. The complex consists of yoga breathing exercises and statistical loads that alternate with muscle strain. Pros: improved posture, skin tone, accelerated metabolism, strengthen joints and develop body flexibility.
Interesting to know. Now the technique developed by Callan Pinckney for his sore back in the 60s of the XX century is experiencing a new surge in popularity. This is due to the death of the author in 2012 and the opportunity to earn without a license to use a fitness technique.
A set of exercises developed over 20 years ago for the physical preparation of firefighters. CrossFit is based on the alternation of intensive training in athletics and weightlifting, weight-lifting, powerlifting, gymnastics and other types of physical activity. One popular exercise is turning over massive car tires.
Stretching exercises using a large inflatable gymnastics ball — fitball, are performed in different positions to strengthen the muscular corset around the spine. Thanks to exercises with fitball, posture improves, coordination of movements and flexibility develops, muscles are strengthened.
A technique combining aerobics exercises and Thai boxing. Under musical accompaniment at a high pace, the athlete strikes punching hands and feet. Such exercises burn fat, tighten muscles, develop concentration of movements, speed of reaction, endurance.
One of the effective types of fitness that promotes weight loss is the alternation of loads on different muscle groups with special breathing exercises. Aerobic respiration, on the basis of which the bodyflex technique was developed, saturates the body with oxygen, accelerates metabolism, stresses develop muscle elasticity, promote rapid fat burning and general rejuvenation of the body, improve skin tone.
Note! Bodyflex is the only type of fitness that includes exercises to rejuvenate the skin of the face and neck.
No matter how intense the workouts are, you need to understand: the effectiveness of 70% depends on proper nutrition and only the remaining 30 on fitness. How to eat to exercise brought a quick and tangible effect?
Eat in small portions 5 times a day (serving 300-400 kcal), do not refuse breakfast.
Complete nutrition 1-1.5 hours before the workout, which includes proteins, slow carbohydrates: oatmeal, protein omelet, brown rice with chicken, lean beef or fish.
Fats — in a minimum amount — not more than 3g per day.
Maintain water balance: every 25 minutes during training, drink a glass of water per day — at least 2 liters.
After classes, there are no later than 2 hours foods containing proteins and complex carbohydrates: poultry, veal fillet, boiled fish, protein omelette, non-fat sour-milk products, any sort of cabbage, cucumbers, spinach, apples, pears.
Remember: only by combining proper nutrition with exercise can you achieve the desired results.
How to do fitness
Having decided to start fitness classes, you need to learn a few basic rules that will help you get on track and not lose your desire to exercise.
Do not rely on quick results: the first effect will be noticeable in a half to two months.
Exercise sparingly: enhanced and frequent workouts will not only soon go down, but they can also undermine your health instead of improving it.
Perform the exercises correctly, learn to feel your muscles and control them.
Observe safety precautions, first read the rules for their implementation.
Important! The most traumatic exercises are strength and squats due to the load on the knee joint. Perform them without making sudden, jerky movements.
Classes should not be exhausting, but regular — every other day or 4 times a week. Daily training does not allow the muscles to recover. On free days, you can engage in other sports, such as jogging or tennis. The duration of classes depends on the level of preparation and health status: for beginners, the training time is 30-40 minutes per day, for experienced — up to 1.5 hours.
Do not forget to use the insurance and equipment provided in some types of exercises.
Perform a warm-up before starting exercises — these can be rotational or swing movements, stretching.
Monitor your well-being: do not overwork, in case of deterioration, the training should be stopped immediately.
And the last piece of advice: when you start practicing, you must definitely set yourself up for a positive result — then everything will work out.
Essential Weight Loss Exercises
Fitness classes provide various positive effects on the state of the body. One of the important components is losing weight. What exercises contribute to weight loss?
Burpy. An exercise where all muscle groups are involved. A few minutes of exercise for weight loss is more effective than an hour of cardio workouts.
Aerobics (running, dancing, water aerobics). During classes, the consumption of oxygen that breaks down fats increases.
Strength training is too energy-intensive, which means they burn a lot of calories.
Squats in several sets (20 seconds of work — 10 rests) allow you to burn about 60 calories in 4 minutes.
Jumping rope. 10 minutes of “children’s fun” in energy costs replace running for 1.5 kilometers.
Basic exercises for major muscle groups
Basic exercises for all muscle groups are recommended for both beginners and experienced athletes. Such training will allow you to learn how to correctly perform all types of strength exercises and give a lasting effect that will not disappear due to the temporary cessation of training.
Flexion and extension of the neck when lying on a bench.
Lifting dumbbells in front of you; breeding in an incline standing.
Reduction of hands on the simulator.
Traction of the upper block in front of you.
Push-ups from the floor.
Flexion and extension of the arms with dumbbells lying.
Bending with the handle of the lower block.
Extending your arm with a dumbbell from behind your head.
Back push ups.
Bench press and breeding dumbbells.
Bench press in a special simulator for the upper chest.
Push-ups from the knees.
Keeping hands on the simulator.
Dumbbell pull in the slope.
Loop wiring in the block.
Lifting the torso on the bench.
Twisting on a fitball.
Twisting the torso on the floor.
Raises the knees in the hang.
Squats with dumbbells.
Raising the pelvis with one leg.
Lift the pelvis in a prone position.
Swing your legs back to the side.
Breeding legs on the simulator.
Hips and legs
Leg curl lying, sitting, standing.
Bending of the lower back with a straight back.
Mixing the legs while sitting.
Rises on socks — one, two legs standing.
Extension of the lower leg in a sitting position.
These are the basic of the basic exercises that you must master in order to start working with your body.
Training at home
For classes at home, special programs are not needed, you just need to master the basic programs and exercises aimed at weight correction and the formation of a beautiful figure. For home fitness, exercises for flexibility, running, walking, aerobics, strength exercises are suitable. Instead of lying in front of the TV for several hours, it is better to take advantage of this time.
The advantages of homework — independence from the time of the gym, cost savings. Cons — at home there are no such conditions and simulators that are offered in the gym, but the main disadvantage is the lack of a coach who controls the process. And motivating yourself to increase the load is very difficult.
Group workouts in a fitness club
Group fitness classes are held under the guidance of a trainer and are aimed mainly at weight loss. This type of training has advantages and disadvantages. The pluses of group training include the following points:
a variety of fitness programs and simulators: you do not have to invent anything, but just choose a ready-made set of exercises;
the spirit of competition, which motivates new achievements;
the presence of a coach monitoring the process.
Such classes are good for beginners, for whom the gym is an alien hostile world: the group will tell and explain everything. But the performance of exercises by groups has drawbacks: this is the lack of an individual approach and, as a result, the possibility of overwork or injury; dependence on the opening hours of the hall. If classes stop giving effect, no one will bother to change the program. Training will take place at the same pace, and the lack of change for the better is boring and ineffective.
To whom fitness is contraindicated
A lot has been said about the benefits of fitness, but there are situations when such physical activity is not recommended and can even do harm. We are talking about people for whom fitness is contraindicated for medical reasons. There are diseases in which fitness of any kind is not allowed:
mental disorders, epilepsy;
severe lesions and heart disease;
chronic diseases of the liver, kidneys;
diseases of the respiratory system;
severe head injuries and spinal injuries.
Temporarily, the doctor may prohibit visits to the gym after an infectious or inflammatory disease and with weakened immunity. In other cases, contraindications associated with certain types of fitness are possible.