Getting Fit What Does It Mean?

June 27, 2012 0 Comments

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The definition of being fit in the dictionary says “the degree of adaptation of an organism to its environment, determined by its genetic constitution”. But the term fitness is something that has been used and adapted to many different things. In this article the term fitness is going to be discussed as it concerns physical conditioning.

We all have our own specific definition of fitness and what we think fitness is. When one walks into a gym one will see people who are training with weights and they will tell you that their objective is to get fit or increase fitness. But scientifically speaking the term fitness usually relates to cardiovascular fitness.

In sports science cardiovascular fitness is determined by something they call your VO2 Max which is basically the maximum amount of air/oxygen your lungs can process at any one time. This is measured by showing the relationship between the output or load against the air used.

When training in a gym there are often many different ways of improving your fitness and they usually range from doing aerobics, cycling, rowing or circuit training. What circuit training does is move the blood around the body which increases the heart rate and gets you fit as a result.

Just like anything else to do with fitness or increasing your ability, it is directly proportional to the extra stress or load that you give your body. What this means if you started of getting fit by walking and you walked two miles a day. You would either have to increase the speed of the walk or increase the distance to increase your fitness.

Your body is conditioned to adapt and the reason that your muscle grows when training with weights is that you have stressed them to the point that they need to change. Training with weights may actually damage the muscle but it repairs within 48 hours and it usually repairs itself in order to be prepared to cope with the load that destroyed it.

In sports science they call this DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) as they have proven that this soreness is completely repaired after 48 hours if the injury was not serious. The bottom line is that your fitness is usually as a result of your last workout and how you adapted to it.

If you were trying to improve your fitness and were walking two miles every day and you did this every day for a year you would not be getting fitter. The advantage physiologically speaking is that you would not be getting unfit but you will have reached a plateau of fitness that will not improve unless you change your workout.

Changing your workout could mean anything as any difference will be beneficial. For example you could walk an extra five minutes after you have walked the two miles or you could choose to walk the two miles quicker than you did the day before. That little bit extra is what is going to improve your fitness.

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