Physical fitness is the ability to function effectively throughout your workday, perform your usual other activities and still have enough energy left over to handle any extra stresses or emergencies which may arise.

The components of physical fitness are:

* Cardiorespiratory (CR) endurance – the efficiency with which the body delivers oxygen and nutrients needed for muscular activity and transports waste products from the cells.

* Muscular strength – the greatest amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert in a single effort.

* Muscular endurance – the ability of a muscle or muscle group to perform repeated movements with a sub-maximal force for extended periods of times.

* Flexibility – the ability to move the joints or any group of joints through an entire, normal range of motion.

* Body composition – the percentage of body fat a person has in comparison to his or her total body mass.

Improving the first three components of fitness listed above will have a positive impact on body composition and will result in less fat. Excessive body fat detracts from the other fitness components, reduces performance, detracts from appearance, and negatively affects your health.

Factors such as speed, agility, muscle power, eye-hand coordination, and eye-foot coordination are classified as components of “motor” fitness. These factors most affect your athletic ability. Appropriate training can improve these factors within the limits of your potential. A sensible weight loss and fitness program seeks to improve or maintain all the components of physical and motor fitness through sound, progressive, mission specific physical training.

Principles of Exercise

Adherence to certain basic exercise principles is important for developing an effective program. The same principles of exercise apply to everyone at all levels of physical training, from the Olympic-caliber athlete to the weekend jogger.

These basic principles of exercise must be followed.

Regularity

To achieve a training effect, you must exercise often. You should exercise each of the first four fitness components at least three times a week. Infrequent exercise can do more harm than good. Regularity is also important in resting, sleeping, and following a sensible diet.

Progression

The intensity (how hard) and/or duration (how long) of exercise must gradually increase to improve the level of fitness.

Balance

To be effective, a program should include activities that address all the fitness components, since overemphasizing any one of them may hurt the others.

Variety

Providing a variety of activities reduces boredom and increases motivation and progress.

Specificity

Training must be geared toward specific goals. For example, people become better runners if their training emphasizes running. Although swimming is great exercise, it does not improve a 2-mile-run time as much as a running program does.

Recovery

A hard day of training for a given component of fitness should be followed by an easier training day or rest day for that component and/or muscle group(s) to help permit recovery. Another way to allow recovery is to alternate the muscle groups exercised every other day, especially when training for strength and/or muscle endurance.

Overload

The work load of each exercise session must exceed the normal demands placed on the body in order to bring about a training effect.

The US has seen an enormous increase in the mumber of people considered obese by the medical community. In fact many call it an obesity epidemic. To combat this we find all sorts of pharamceutical companies selling the “quick fix” pills, powders, and lotions that do nothing to actually help people take the fat off and keep it off.

Of course the same could be said of the diet industry as well. There are so many different diets going around now you could pick one a month and in a years time still have more to choose from.

What is truely needed are some sensible proven weight loss tips that people can implement no matter what their present physical condition is. That said let’s dive right in.

#1 Drink more water. All too often Americans are borderline dehydrated and so their bodies are working on the water starvation reflex and not flushing the toxins and junk out.

#2 Eat more often. I bet you thought I was going to say eat less. While it is true that to lose weight you need to eat less calories than you expend…you need to eat more often to get the metabolic furnace stoked up and burning right. Get it out of starvation mode. So start the day off with breakfast. Even an instant breakfast drink and a piece of fruit as we head out the door in the morning.

#3 Move more. Depending on your physical condition you need to be moving more. Use the stairs rather than the elevator, park farther out from the office or the store, go for a walk around the block, go dancing, play with your kids. Make it fun. Running is not the only way to burn more calories.

#4 Finally, determine your “Why”. Decide why you want to discard fat. Make your reason big enough to motivate you through the slumps that invariably happen.

Personally my reason was to be able to live to see my great grandkids graduate college. My youngest kids are 4 and 6 now. Besides I wanted to get out and play with them without being out of breath all the time.