May is National Physical Fitness Awareness Month, and Spectrum encourages you to be physically active to stay healthy.
Benefits of staying active including controlling cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight, preventing cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart attacks, and improving sleep. Regular physical activity also reduces depression, reduces falls and joint pain, and helps us all feel better about ourselves.
Dr. Diana Bitner says fitness is a quality that can be measured and improved, but always starts with having a goal.
For example, if you don't have time doing one hour of straight exercise a day, instead do multiple little things throughout the day like a set of sit ups in the morning, or taking multiple short walks.
There are two types of fitness, performance-related and health-related fitness.
Performance-related fitness is linked to athletic performance, and can be measured through speed, reaction time, and coordination.
Health-related fitness is linked to fitness components that lower health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or lower back pain. Health-related physical fitness is measured through the following components:
- Aerobic fitness- the ability of the heart and lungs to deliver blood to muscles.
- Muscular strength and endurance - enough to do normal activities easily and protect the low back.
- Flexibility - ability to move your many joints through their proper range of motion.
- Body composition - not too much body fat, especially around the waist.
All of these components for performance and health related fitness can be found on the Presidential Fitness Test. You can use these guidelines as a way to measure and improve on your fitness.
You can set up an appointment with Dr. Bitner at (616) 267-8225. Read more on physical fitness on her blog.