In the Indian education system, physical activity is relegated in comparison to academics. Curriculums are designed with the mentality that fitness isn’t as important as mathematics or the sciences. As a result, children grow up thinking of the subject as something optional, something they can do without learning in life. They start equating fitness with weight loss, when in reality, there is so much more to it than that. Sure, one would like to feel light and easy, but that doesn’t say anything about your fitness level. Someone with a slim waist can be undernourished and too weak to run a mile, whereas someone who’s plump could pick four suitcases like it’s no big deal.
Without complete knowledge, the former would admire themselves silly, whereas the latter would be fooled into thinking there is something wrong with their body. It’s high time we educate ourselves about the right parameters to assess our fitness level. The numbers you see on a weighing scale can be super misleading. What you think is a loss of fat could, in fact, be a loss of muscle owing to the lack of strength training or an excess of cardio in your daily routine. This means it’s doing you more harm than good. AskMen India shares six fitness goals that are better than weight loss:
Fitness is about how you feel within more than how you look on the outside. It’s okay to aspire for a sexy, shredded physique, but not at the cost of overexertion or eating disorders that cause long-term damage. If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, shift your focus on the inside. This means asking yourself questions like “Why do I wake up lethargic and lazy?” “Why do small tasks tire me out so much?” “Which parts of my body feel stiff or weak and what can I do to change that?” “Do the things I eat energize me or deplete me?” When you listen to your body and do what it takes to strengthen it, you will automatically become comfortable in your skin.
Now that we have established the importance of strength in fitness, let’s talk about another parameter, flexibility, which often goes hand in hand. Flexibility is the measure of how easily and freely your muscles and joints move. Not only does it enable mobility, but also releases stress and stiffness accumulated in your body as a result of inactivity, and reduces the risk of injuries. This is why stretching exercises should be done first thing in the morning. Moreover, when you’re flexible, the range of motion of your muscles and joints is better, which then helps you reap the best results from your strength training routine.
Barring sportspersons, agility is not given as much importance as it deserves. This is probably because it’s a fitness parameter that has nothing to do with how you look on the outside, but everything to do with how you feel on the inside. It’s basically the measure of how promptly you come with a suitable response to a sudden change in circumstances. Simply said, it’s a test of your reflexes and a reflection of how focused you are. If you find yourself zoning out of important conversations or unable to make decisions quickly, you lack agility and should work on it by doing plyometrics, shuttle runs and even concentration-building exercises.
Most people do cardio to burn fat and lose weight, but another amazing benefit that this form of training brings is an increase in breathing capacity. The ease with which oxygen enters your lungs and gets transported to all the muscles of your body will have a direct impact on the effectiveness of any workout that you do. If you’re working on your biceps, for instance, but oxygen is not reaching that particular muscle, it won’t get the nourishment it requires to be strong and shredded. Moreover, good stamina helps you sustain a long workout.
Speed is a fitness parameter that puts your breathing capacity and agility to test at the same time. When you’re running, your lungs should have the ability to replenish the oxygen being used up by your muscles, whereas your legs should be a strange combination of light and strong, so that you can move them as fast as possible. This can only be developed with regular practice. And in case you can’t go out and run everyday, then indoor cardio workouts like jumping jacks, burpees and skipping.
Another highly overlooked fitness parameter is balance. It comes into play in every single movement that you perform, from standing to walking to climbing stairs, and a lack of it will send your mobility for a toss. However, the reason why people don’t talk about it as much as it deserves is because the repercussions are usually faced at a later age, when your muscles and joints start degenerating and can no longer take the weight of your body. This is why injuries caused by slipping and tripping are so common among older folks. To avoid this, start working on your balance now. There are a lot of yoga asanas and martial arts moves for it.
Holistic fitness is the only fitness worth having!
Cover artwork by Dhaval Punatar/AskMen India
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Source link: https://in.askmen.com/fitness-workouts/1128314/article/6-fitness-goals-that-are-more-important-than-weight-loss by Ritu Ailani at in.askmen.com