Taking a sprint to get the train or running up the stairs to the third floor without any effort is something that we all wish we could do, but how is this possible?
What does shape actually mean? When are you in shape? Why is being in shape so important? What are the recommendations to improve your physical condition and what are the absolute don’t for it? In this article I’ll answer all of these questions and I’ll talk about some misunderstandings about physical condition as well, se keep on reading…..and you’ll know all about how your shape is!
What Is The Definition Of Physical Condition?
Condition, or shape to say is shortly, is all about two aspects:
- the maximum amount of oxygen your muscles take in
- the acidification of the muscles
The maximum amount of oxygen intake stands for the amount of oxygen your muscles take in every minute. How bigger the amount, how larger your endurance.
The acidification level is about the moment where your muscles start acidifying. The more you are trained, the higher this level is and the longer you can keep on training on the same level. With starters, this acidification level is around 60% of their maximum effort. With top sportsmen this is about 80 or 90%.
Your heart rate tells you a lot about your physical condition. When you have a good physical condition, your heart rate will stay on a constant lower level when you’re training. When you’re training, your body has to work hard to pump blood to your muscles. Your blood contains oxygen that you need to function well. The better your heart can do its job, the easier physical exercise is for you and the longer you can keep on exercising at the same pace.
Why Is Being In Shape So Important?
There is a clear relation between endurance and the quality of living. Your chances for survival increase when you are in good physical condition. It decreases the chances of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and it has a good influence on your blood pressure, cholesterol, bone structure as well as the intake of nutrients in your muscle cells.
Besides that, you have much more energy, you are more productive during the day and you are happier if you do regular physical exercise.
The Best Tips To Improve Your Physical Condition
- Be consistent
There is no such thing as a quick fix! It may be a bit hard in the beginning, but your shape increases rapidly when you start training on a regular basis. After two weeks, your heart rate will improve and adapt to your new rhythm. Try to increase your training time and even more important: find something that you like to do! There is nothing worse than dragging yourself to another course of gym if you’re not having fun!
- Get in action every day
Get in action every day for about 30 minutes. Not just the training I am talking about above, but also the everyday things. Do your groceries on your bicycle (I’m from the Netherlands, so I love to ride my bike :)), take the stairs, walk the dog.
Besides this, try to exercise 3 times a week for an hour or an hour and a half. Running, swimming, ice skating, roller skating, rowing, dancing….it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you like it! Try to keep your heart rate at around 80% of your maximum heart rate level. In order to know what your maximum heart rate is, you can count 220 minus your age.
Don’t forget to do power training with weight to build muscle mass. You need to find the right balance between cardio and power training.
- It’s the first time
Have you never trained before? This means you need to build up your physical condition slowly. Do not force yourself to train too hard or too long, you might risk injuring yourself. Start with two or three times a week for half an hour and do not go further than 80% of your maximum heart rate level. If you don’t have an activity tracker which measures your heart rate, then you should be fine as long as you still can talk without having to grasp for your breath.
6 Absolute Shape Killers
Nothing is so bad for your health as smoking, we all know this of course. Your lungs get damaged and it is very difficult to get in good physical shape when you’re smoking at the same time.
- Wrong food
saturated fats make your veins silt up, which leads to a poor blood flow. It is important to get enough proteins, as they improve your muscle mass.
- No exercise
Couch potatoes are never in shape! Your physical condition will even get worse and your muscle mass decreases from lying in the front of the TV.
This one we all know as well. A glass of wine from time to time is not going to hurt your shape immediately, but it is more difficult to get back into shape and it can give you muscle cramps after a night out with the girls or when your drink regularly
Nothing you can do about it off course, but still, illness is not good for your physical condition. It doesn’t happen in just one day, but if you down with a bad flu, you will notice the changes in your body. Pick up where you left off before getting sick, and your body will soon be back into shape.
Yes, holidays are not always good for your shape. The wine, the barbecues, the ice creams, not so good……and on top of that, we are less strict with training regularly when we’re on a break. But as soon as the holidays are over, hop back into the program!
5 Misunderstandings about Physical Condition
- If you don’t exercise, you’re in bad shape
This is nonsense! Everyone has a base level of physical condition, even if they have never done any sports in their life. By training on a regular basis, you do improve your physical shape considerably.
- If you run, your shape is so good that you don’t need to do power training
When doing cardio, you use your muscles, but your muscles will not be getting any stronger. Even worse, when doing too much cardio, you might even lose some of your muscle mass.
- A good shape only has advantages for your body
Being in shape and exercising on a regular basis is not only good for your body, but also for your mind. Research has shown that people in good shape are generally happier than people who aren’t.
- Your physical condition stays the same throughout the years
That would be great, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, as of the age of 30, your physical condition decrease with approximately 1% per year. You can delay this decrease by training.
- Physical shape is the same thing as endurance
Partly true, but physical condition is also about power, rapidity, coordination and agility. Together with endurance, these elements determine your physical performance ability.
Fit people are healthier and happier. Being in good shape is important to feel well in your body as well as in your mind.
A good health does not depend on exercises alone though. A healthy diet is equally important.
If you want to find out how your physical condition is, you can do a test in almost any gym. They will test your endurance or they’ll do a test based on your oxygen intake. With the outcome of this test, you can create your personal training program and work to improve your physical condition. Good luck!
I would love to hear your thoughts about physical condition and tips and tricks on how to improve it. Please leave your comments or questions below, and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you!