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About the Fitness
Two closely linked definitions are hidden under the meaning of fitness. First, we understand fitness as the state of physical health and well-being achieved by leading a healthy life supported by continuous exercise over time. Fitness is also defined as gymnastic movements repeated weekly to complete good physical shape. Usually, these exercises are performed in specific sports spaces, such as gyms.
This sports practice aims to improve aerobic resistance, have greater flexibility, achieve muscle strength, achieve localized muscle strength, and achieve body balance (you must respect specific percentages of what is considered healthy in muscles, bones, and fat).
For years, fitness has been booming in the United States, but its importance has already spread to Europe and some South American countries, such as Colombia.
Athletes who attend this sports discipline usually perform a series of runs, squats, push-ups and jumps combined with field exercises, such as breakdance.
If the athlete maintains a balanced exercise program, the advantages of this discipline are:
- It improved aerobic endurance. The series of exercises are performed several times a week, which is why it manages to increase the development of the cardiorespiratory system and, therefore, resistance.
- It strengthens the internal and external physical condition, which also implies an increase in the self-esteem of the person who practices it.
- Avoid stress. This type of high-impact sports activity helps the athlete relax and has less risk of suffering from anxiety or depression.
How do I distinguish if an activity is considered fitness?
For an activity to fall within the fitness category, it must be carried out regularly and be fully linked to good nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits. In addition, it must meet several criteria:
- Some of the goals of this type of training are to improve the endurance and strength of the individual. The sports routine must be carried out at least twice a week.
- It is imperative that the person who performs fitness has an excellent physical condition and presents localized muscular resistance. When the activity is practised, the athlete will have the necessary resistance to maintain a muscle in tension for a prolonged period. Or repeat the same series of movements several times.
- Have flexibility. These exercises require a lot of warm-ups, so the athlete must have flexibility throughout the body.
- It requires the athlete to have a harmonious physical shape and maintain normal fat levels. Men, between 18 and 20 per cent, and women, between 22 and 24 per cent.
To get in good physical shape, fitness relies on some machines. The most used are the elliptical, exercise bike, cycling, rows, stair simulator, and treadmills. In addition, they also often use bodybuilding equipment to reinforce muscle training. Increase the strength to perform the series of exercises.
Fitness vs Bodybuilding
In the United States, there is often a fitness category in bodybuilding competitions. However, the appearance of fitness has displaced the participation of women in bodybuilding. They are not similar since, in bodybuilding, they compete for aesthetics, while in fitness, the participants have to perform a series of exercises.
The main differences between these two concepts are:
- Fitness aims to improve the state of the body by training the muscles. Bodybuilding only seeks to enhance strengths.
- Fitness implies, in some cases, that body mass is lost. Bodybuilding requires that body mass be increased.
- Athletes combine aerobic and anaerobic exercises in fitness, while anaerobic strength exercises are mainly performed in bodybuilding.