Because of the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, people are returning to normal daily activities. During those months of confinement, working from home with restricted physical activity, many people …
Because of the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, people are returning to normal daily activities. During those months of confinement, working from home with restricted physical activity, many people gained weight and became less physically fit. People are returning to the gym to restart exercise programs. Others have started walking more now that the weather is warmer.
It is important to understand the research about maintaining physical fitness, how it influences weight control, and its relationship to an improved health status. Definitions are helpful to highlight each area.
Excellent physical fitness is defined as the following:
When describing normal weight, the term body mass index (BMI) is often used. It is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can indicate probable high body fat. BMI defines weight categories that may lead to health problems, but it does not diagnose the body fatness or health of an individual, nor does it predict if the person is physically fit. You can find your BMI by finding a BMI calculator online and entering your height, weight, and age.
There is a large body of medical research that describes the benefits of regular exercise and weight control. These benefits can include preventing and improving certain chronic health problems that can shorten lifespans as well as helping to prevent certain types of cancers—not to mention the high correlation between obesity and the severity of COVID-19.
How do you determine if you are fit?
The most common way that your physician can determine if your cardiovascular system is fit is by ordering an exercise fitness or stress test. You would be asked to walk, jog, or run on a treadmill. Your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored. Irregular heart rhythms can be picked up with this testing along with possible coronary artery narrowing. This type of testing can also be done on a stationary exercise bike.
Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems including stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety and some types of cancer; it can also improve symptoms of arthritis. Other benefits of regular physical activity are reduced risk of heart attack; management of weight reduction; improved cholesterol profile; lower blood pressure; stronger bones, muscles and joints; and lower risk of osteoporosis and lower risk of falls.
What type of exercise program is appropriate for you?
If your goal is to lose pounds, shrink a waistline, improve some aspect of your health or gain strength or endurance, you need to set realistic goals. People often set goals that are unobtainable, potentially harmful, or inappropriate for what they are seeking.
There are many exercise programs listed on the internet, along with gyms that advertise their training programs. Before investing in any program, here are some suggestions to logically find an approach that is appropriate for you: