Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Peak Fitness: Reaching Your Body’s Full Potential

Being fit may bring to mind the idea of bulging muscles, superman strength and a to-die-for athletic build. But fitness more importantly means the body’s resistance level and stamina for physical activities. And peak fitness is the point wherein your physical ability and faculties are functioning at optimum level. Peak fitness means achieving the fullest and the optimum potential of your strength and stamina in your activities - whatever they may be.

A US Marine Doing Pull-ups.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
And contrary to what most people think - that peak fitness is only for the young - almost any middle-aged individual can still achieve peak fitness given the right circumstances and dedication. Achieving peak fitness does not only mean working on a good body build and having the energy and the muscles to do hard, manual, physical labor. It also means following good health habits designed not only to build and develop your muscles, but to sustain your body with the energy and other requirements needed for the performance of your tasks to your fullest potential. Here are some tips for reaching that potential:

1. Maintain a balanced intake of calories. Don’t stop eating calorie-rich food just because you’re trying to cut back on your calories and lose weight. Calories are used in the performance of simple, ordinary tasks, and are important for your body to maintain its energy metabolism. And be sure to eat plenty of fiber. It is important for good digestion and bowel movement. Fiber-rich food like wheatbread, unpolished rice, vegetables and fruits give you a feeling of fullness, which reduces the tendency to overeat. Of course, don’t forget your greens. Maintaining a daily vegetable and fruit intake provides you with the necessary vitamins and minerals to beef up your stamina and resistance to disease, ultimately leading to your body’s peak fitness.

English: A senior citizen while practicing his...
A senior citizen practicing his fitness exercise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Be mobile. Exercise and be active. Keeping your body used to physical activity and an active lifestyle develops the muscles and strengthens your body’s capacity to do certain tasks - as well as raising your resting metabolism. Sedentary individuals not only gain more flab in their middle, they are also more prone to injuries and illness. At least ten minutes of routine exercise everyday – from something as simple as taking the stairs to stretching and working on the treadmill can help your body maintain its peak fitness level. But of course, remember not to abuse your body. You need to have time to relax and let your muscles rest as well in between hard physical activity. Moderation is key - too much or too little of anything can be harmful.

3. Give yourself enough sleep. Sleep is important as it allows your body to rejuvenate, the tissues to heal, the brain and other organs to slow down in their function. A good night’s sleep spells more energy the next day, and a more enthusiastic, active YOU, and also reduces the risk of strain and injury. Enough sleep allows you and your body to function optimally, repair and renew itself, and perform to your fullest potential. It is the body’s means to recharge itself.

The easiest measure to check your peak fitness level is your body’s ability to respond to stress. More so, peak fitness is your body’s ability to respond to emergencies. A well-oiled machine should be able to function without the ‘clicks’ and ‘thuds’ - let alone without grinding to a halt. Our body should be able to do its work in much the same way. Regular exercise as part of a balanced lifestyle is the way to achieve this.

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