The basics of physical fitness training are strengthening your cardiovascular system and muscles as well as maintaining a good diet in order to keep the body fit for everyday tasks. Keeping the body stretched and supple is also part of an overall physical fitness program, and will help avoid injury when exercising. A fitness program should incorporate all of these factors to some degree, and overall fitness will also depend on other factors, such as lifestyle habits and medical conditions.
Many people thing of exercising as physical fitness, but eating a healthy diet is also important because it keeps the various systems of the body fit and provides proper nutrients essential to functioning properly. A low-calorie diet rich in lean meats, fish, poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products works best for most people. Avoiding foods high in sugar, fat, and cholesterol will help keep weight down and limit empty calories that have no nutritional value.
Cardiovascular exercises, such as running or jogging, are vital to physical fitness. It burns calories, works the heart and lungs, tones the muscles, and boosts metabolism to keep the body working efficiently. For most people, doing cardiovascular exercises 30 minutes three to four times a week will maintain fitness. The intensity of the exercise should be enough to increase the heart rate and produce sweat. If the exercises can't be done while talking, it is too intense.
Strength training is another important part of physical fitness training. Working out with weights or doing some other form of resistance training two times a week, such as push-ups and sit-ups, will build and tone muscle. This will help with endurance, strength, and also helps keep fat off because muscles burn calories even when at rest. Working all the muscles of the body will help keep balance and will not cause some muscles to fatigue.
Rest is also part of physical fitness training. Most people require at least eight hours of sleep at night to keep the body rested and keep hormones in balance. A lack of sleep can also cause stress and over-eating, and in turn weakens the body.
Physical fitness training will keep the body in shape, but people should also limit behaviors which can harm their health. Smoking tobacco, drinking too much alcohol, and overeating can harm the body, even when physical fitness training is performed. Avoiding excesses of any kind will help overall health and physical fitness. A doctor should be consulted before starting an exercise program.