I read an article today with fitness in the title. In a nutshell, it stated that you didn’t need to go to the gym to lose weight. Ok, that is probably true, but my question is, without exercise, are you really getting fit?
For some, losing weight can be a great goal. You feel better, look better, fit in some of your old favorite clothes better, and above all, it should improve your health, or at least a couple of your risk factors.
Being fit however, isn’t just about being thin (or thinner than you were). Muscle volume and muscle quality is also important. Strength, combined with range of motion is key to performing daily activities, and avoiding injury.
The older we get, especially the 50+ crowd, the more muscle mass we lose. It is a scientific fact. With less muscle, we have less power and strength, and I’m not talking about the power or strength (two different things by the way) it takes to throw a 16 pound shot put. I’m referring to the ability to get in and out of a car, vacuum a house, paint a room, load and put away groceries. These tasks, and many more, all take a coordinated effort, to a varying degree, to perform. If our muscles have deteriorated, are not regularly used, and the range of motion has all but vanished, there is a greater risk of injury. Elderly people who have poor muscle tone and injure themselves, either don’t recover very easily or quickly, or don’t recover at all. Most of us have seen that with loved ones.
So, when thinking about losing weight, I encourage you to consider a fitness regimen that includes improving stability (core work), strength, power, and flexibility. If you do, you will truly be…FIT. Of course, prior to starting any new exercise program it is recommended to check with your doctor.
It Starts With The Heart