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Basic Fitness Tips & Secrets

Basic Fitness Tips & Secrets

The following are offered to help you get physically fit in a healthy and effective manner.  Use the tips that apply to you and that can best help you succeed.  Good luck!

Basic Fitness Tips & Secrets

1) To get fit and stay fit, exercise regularly, do not smoke, practice good nutrition, maintain a proper weight level, and have periodic medical checkups.

2)  Benefits of being fit: Lower blood pressure; a stronger and more efficient heart; supple and young arteries; a higher metabolic rate; larger more powerful muscles with more definition, and stronger bones.

3) When you’re physically fit, you’ll look and feel younger than your chronological age and you’ll probably live longer too.

4) To prevent or delay the onset of type II diabetes, experts urge the overweight to lose weight and work out regularly.  Weight loss helps your body use insulin more efficiently, and exercise helps metabolize excess blood glucose.

5)  You should have a medical exam, before starting a physical fitness program.  This is especially important if you are overweight, if you have been inactive, if you have a history of medical problems, or if you are 40 or older.

6)  Remember to discuss your physical fitness plan and your short-term and long-term goals with your doctor.

7)  Before you start a physical fitness program you should know your current fitness level.  Assessing your current level in areas such as aerobic (cardio) capacity, strength, flexibility, body-fat, will help you determine what you should emphasize and help you set realistic goals.

8)  A good measure of your cardio-respiratory fitness, is the volume of oxygen per minute per kilogram of body weight (called VO2max) you can process during hard exercise.

9) A good self-assessment test for VO2max is the Rockport Walking Test.  After walking a mile as rapidly as you can, you record your pulse and the time to complete the walk.  You then convert your time and pulse into VO2max using formulae and a table in “Total Fitness – U.S. Edition” (by

10)  Self-assessment strength tests include the Push-up Test, the Sit-up Test, and the Squat Test.  (For descriptions of the tests and to interpret your test results and see how fit you are, see “Total Fitness – U.S. Edition”).

11)  The standard self-assessment test for flexibility is the “Sit and Reach Test.”

12)  Exercise physiologists consider the percentage of body fat compared to total body weight a critical measure of fitness, and contend, from the standpoint of good health, that men should have no more than 20 percent body fat and women no more than 23 percent body fat.

13)  It’s more practical to use Body Mass Index, or BMI, to determine what you should weigh.  Your BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. 

14)  Another important health parameter is your waist-to-hip ratio. Your risk for heart attack and stroke increase considerably for men with a ratio above 1.0 and for women with a ratio above 0.8.  To calculate your ratio, measure your waist (at its narrowest section) and divide it by your hip (at its widest section).