5 Reasons to Focus on Getting Fit, Not Thin

This is a guest page by Rachel Davis.

It’s natural for people to associate slimness with fitness; however, the two are not synonymous. You would probably be surprised to know that someone who looks fatter and bigger than you is healthier and fitter than you ever were – simply put, fat does not equate to unfit and thin does not imply fit. Fitness is a quality that reflects your strength, your stamina and your overall body composition. Irrespective of body weight or BMI, you could consider yourself fit if:

  • You have good cardiovascular endurance: If you can jog for half a mile without gasping for breath like you’re an asthmatic, if you can walk a few miles without feeling the strain, if you can swim a few laps continuously without stopping to take rest, if you can climb a few flights of stairs without getting out of breath, then you’re reasonably fit. In short, if you can sustain any cardio workout without feeling like you’re going to pass out, you can join the fit club.
  • You have more muscle than fat: Bodybuilders are big, but they certainly cannot be called fat. Every pound of their weight is muscle, and not an ounce of fat exists. Similarly, your weight may be on the higher side, but if your body has more muscle than fat, you’re fit enough.
  • You are strong: If you can lift heavy things without breaking into a sweat and if you can sustain activities that require strength, you’re fit.

So now that you know what fitness means, it’s time to get down to getting fit. Exercise has varying effects on each of us, and that’s why you don’t seem to lose weight as quickly as your spouse or your friend who are on the same exercise and diet program. So instead of focusing on getting thin, start thinking of how you can get fit because:

  • Fitness is a better indicator of longevity – if you’re fit, it doesn’t matter even if your BMI is not ideal; you can expect a longer life than your unfit and thinner counterparts.
  • Fitness boosts metabolism – when you have more muscle mass, you tend to burn calories even when at rest and so lose weight faster.
  • Fitness boosts cardiovascular health – your heart is not overstrained when you exert yourself and it supports all your activities.
  • Fitness makes you look more attractive – you don’t have unseemly gobs of fat hanging from your waist and hips; instead, your muscles are toned and give your body a fantastic shape.
  • Fitness is a key indicator of health – the fitter you are, the healthier you become. When you’re fit, you don’t fall ill often and you’re able to resist disease better.

If you’re looking to boost your fitness, here’s what you need to do:

  • Boost your cardiovascular fitness through interval training.
  • Build up your muscle mass and bone strength through weight training.
  • Enhance your mobility by walking more and driving less, taking the stairs more and the elevator less, and staying active instead of being a couch potato.
  • Do not starve yourself in an attempt to get thin – when you don’t eat, your body uses your muscles for fuel so you become less strong and less fit.
  • Work out intelligently and safely – mix up your routine, take to cross training, and allow your body adequate time to rest before you push it some more.

It’s never too late to start working on your fitness; start out slowly but surely, and you’re sure to become stronger and fitter as the days go by.

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