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Easy Ways to Be Fit This Season

Easy Ways to Be Fit This Season

You’re right! Easy ways to be fit sounds contradictory. Plus, hearing that you can do so quickly seems like a wild promise. Guess, what? You can have both, the easy and the quick. Keep an eye out for the Make It Easy Tips throughout the article.

“In general, fitness means different things to different people. The important message is that embarking on any regular exercise will be of benefit to a person’s health. The more exercise they do, the healthier they will look and feel." Medical News Today, 2021

1.- Be Fit 

Exactly what does it mean to be fit? It’s easy to assume that a person gains strength when physically fit. Yet, is there more to it? You’re right, there is! Each point made here about the components of physical fitness will help you to get fit this season. 

Each day you’ll observe what’s boosting your fitness. You’ll also become more familiar with what’s holding you back. That matters when caring for yourself is a top priority. Plus, becoming more fit can be fun! Before getting into the fitness components, it’s good to get psyched about being fit.

Have Fun

When you get right down to it, being fit and having fun go hand in hand! Enjoying what you’re doing keeps the ball rolling. Keeping up the momentum has side benefits too.

- You’ll do things that make you chuckle and smile. 

- Laughter deepens breathing, one part of being fit. 

- Being upbeat means friends are likely to join you in fitness adventures. 

Your Mindset

This is another topic that might not be part of a hardcore be-fit presentation. Yet, when you get right down to it, a positive mindset with a healthy dose of optimism is likely to:

- Support you through the ups and downs of changing habits, 

- Assure that you make your fitness a priority on most days, and 

- Help you keep in mind that outlook is a choice, just like deciding to be fit.

Be Fit & Healthy

There’s good reason to be fit according to these U.S. scientists. “Sedentary behavior (loosely defined as sitting, television viewing, couch time) is associated with increased risk for at least 35 chronic diseases/clinical conditions and increased mortality rates. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2016

2.- Be Fit: The Key Components

There’s good reason to be fit according to these U.S. scientists. “Sedentary behavior (loosely defined as sitting, television viewing, couch time) is associated with increased risk for at least 35 chronic diseases/clinical conditions and increased mortality rates. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2016

Heart & Lung Fitness

This is known as cardiorespiratory fitness. That’s longhand that means your heart and lungs work at a healthy capacity. They promote healthy circulation, decreasing the risk for chronic conditions like high blood pressure, circulatory illnesses, and diabetes.

Another indicator that can help you improve your aerobic fitness…is your VO2 max–or your oxygen uptake–shows how much oxygen your body absorbs and uses while working out.” Health Essentials, Cleveland Clinic, 2022 

VO2 Max & You

Two measures of this crucial component of boosting fitness are cardiac output and oxygen (O2) volume. The output is how much a heart pumps in a minute. It varies based on a person’s size and what they’re doing. The typical resting cardiac output averages 5 L (liters) per minute with a usual range of 4-8 L/minute. Catch this! Your buddy who’s an elite athlete likely reaches an output of about 40 L /minute. Have you looked at a liter bottle lately? Wow!

One way to be fit is to increase your liters per minute output. Your breathing is easier as your heart and lungs gain capacity and output. That shows up in your VO2 Max, a measure of your fitness.

- It’s all about oxygen uptake and your heart’s pumping capacity combined with your cells’ ability to use oxygen.

- VO2 Max examples to go for are:

  - An active woman’s is 33-37 milliliters/kilogram/minute.

  - An active man’s is 42-46 milliliters/kilogram/minute.

Make It Easy Tip: Invest in a fitness tracker with VO2 Max function.

VO2 Max Boosters

The down and dirty is that getting moving boosts your VO2 Max. You’ll know it’s happening as you notice:

- Your breathing deepens and slows as you exercise. 

- Your pulse does the same with your resting rate slowing. 

- Yup, having a device/app makes this easier to track… and show off to friends!

Chances are good that athletes you know of are using these varied methods to boost fitness:

- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

- High-intensity multimodal training (HIMT)

A study in 2019 suggests that “classic running HIIT and functional HIIT both improve VO2 Max and affect muscular endurance to the same extent despite a lower cardiovascular strain in the functional protocol.” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 2019

Other authors note that “HIMT may be an attractive exercise method for accumulating aerobic and resistance training into one session.” Sports Medicine Open, 2022 

Make It Easy Tip: Read reliable sources about the various types of training. Pick what’s right for you!

Flexibility & Resilience

This pairing is listed next because it belongs in the limelight. Lifelong fitness depends on flexibility. It’s that simple! Here’s why:

- Flexible joints and supportive structures like ligaments and tendons protect muscles, making each move fluid and nimble.

- Being flexible promotes balance and safety for all activities.

- Flexibility promotes health over time, as in less back and joint pain, plus added resilience. 

Resilience is physical as well as having to do with attitude. Here it’s the ability to bounce back from an ouch. Whether it’s an injury or setback with body composition goals, your resilience sees you through. 

Make It Easy Tip: Regular use of the mind-body practices of Yoga and/or Tai Chi promotes flexibility, balance, and physical resilience.

Muscle Strength & Endurance: 

This is another combo that’s often presented separately. In your body, one depends on the other. As each muscle fiber gains strength, so does a whole muscle. This, coupled with a healthy VO2 Max, gradually increases endurance.

Make It Easy Tip: Track your strength and endurance gains each week. Every few minutes really adds up by month’s end!

Body Composition 

Body composition is the makeup of your body based on the percent of bone, muscle. Health recommendations are based on this with a special focus on body fat. You’ll read how to calculate this with calipers and using other complex means. Truth be told, just looking at a couple of charts about fat folds here and there on your body tells part of the story.

Let’s face it, you’re savvy and already know you want to make changes. You’re also wise and plan to pace yourself with a focus on success. Although you want to alter your body fat, it’s smart to: 

- Read up on the role of carbs, fats, and proteins in providing you with energy and helping to build and repair muscle tissue.

- Examine your current eating patterns based on what you learned.

- Begin to make wise dietary changes that you’ll use all year.

- Focus on fit-tuning by turning some extra fat into muscle.

3.- Bottom Line

Even short simple exercise/fitness programs can support your be-fit gains. That means if you work at a desk or are seated a lot, getting up for bursts of exercise adds to your success.

Make It Easy Tip: Get up and move more

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