by Anne Pyle
Good Reasons to Focus on Fitness
Most of us want to be fit AND lose weight. They’re both great health goals.
Losing weight gives great outcomes—it’s visible. We look better and feel better. That’s a real motivator to make it our number one health choice. But why is science now suggesting we should make physical fitness, not weight loss, our primary goal?
Being fit involves much more than just losing weight. Being fit is about having strength and vitality, engaging your mind and enjoying a balanced life.
This article from News.Discovery on what is means to be in shape touches on the main reasons for focusing on fitness as a way of life. When we focus on fitness over fat… guess what, we get more fit with less stress.
The term ‘fitness’ was coined from an abbreviation of cardiorespiratory fitness in the 1970’s when researchers started measuring how long people could last on a treadmill with increased inclinations. Since then research has continued to show that aerobic exercise, weight and strength training, and neuromotor exercise (like yoga and stretching) are fundamental and positive protectors and the benefits are cumulative as we age-regardless of whether we lose weight or not.
The most essential thing for you to know is that while fitness will most definitely result in weight loss, vice versa isn’t true. Weight loss cannot ensure fitness. You can lose weight even in an unhealthy way. Fitness involves everything good. You need to exercise, ensure appropriate rest, and eat healthy to achieve your fitness goal.
Fitness results in healthy respiratory and circulatory systems. Overall fitness gives you healthy skin, alertness and a healthy system. While weight loss may be bad for your health and respiratory system, regular exercise and a healthy diet aids the heart in the smooth circulation of blood and oxygen.
Better Lymphatic System
Your lymphatic system is also a part of the circulatory system, comprising a network that provides better flow of fluid called lymph which improves circulation, reduces swelling, metabolism and flexibility. Basic exercises like strength training and stretching can improve the lymphatic system.
Another benefit of preferring fitness over weight loss, is a healthier cardiovascular system. A person deprived of exercise has a higher risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attack and stroke. Weight loss through dieting or an overdose of exercising may do more harm than good.
Improved Mental health
Physical fitness means a healthy body and more than that, it means a healthy mind. Physical fitness is connected to your mental health in every way possible. Every physical activity makes the brain agile, sharp and alert. Mental fitness is as crucial as physical health and weight loss may result in fatigue and depression, which puts the brain under unwanted pressure.
As your body composition naturally improves through consistent exercise, and your body grows stronger, you will notice so much more than an improved appearance. You will look better, feel, better, be healthier, stronger, and walk with a more vibrant and confident spring in your step. You will notice that your more agile, reaction times and dexterity actually improve, and you even sleep better.
If you focus only on fat and weight loss, you can feel defeated, deprived and fatigued. The most important thing:
“Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.” LeAura Alderson, founder, My Trainer Fitness
Fitness or Weight Loss. Which is Better? , Zeenews
Get Fit: What Does it Mean To be in Shape?, Disovery News