A little more than 20 years ago, when fitness was just coming into fashion, scientists and trainers had a strict approach to exercise and nutrition. It was believed that only prolonged exercise, limiting the number of calories consumed and completely avoiding “unhealthy” foods could get rid of excess weight and health problems forever. Today our view of fitness has noticeably changed and become more multidimensional. It turns out that to feel strong and healthy, to achieve balance and harmony, it is not necessary to give up the pleasures of life.
A typical image of a fitness fan in the 80s. – woman in an aerobics suit and bright socks, never leaving the gym – today it seems absurd.
Nowadays, “being in shape” means living a full life: enjoying your favorite sports, enjoying food without denying yourself anything within reasonable limits, being at peace with your feelings and soul.
What else is different about the modern view of an active lifestyle?
Here are some basic definitions.
Earlier it was thought: to achieve results, you need to train for 20-60 minutes without a break.
Now we are sure: even 10 minutes of physical activity is beneficial.
Our ancestors did not need to go to the gym. Physical activity was an integral part of their existence. But just over 100 years ago, the Industrial Revolution began gradually replacing manual labor, leading to a radical change in lifestyle.
The problem is that the human body has not changed at all. Our body still needs a lot of physical activity. So when we don’t move enough, we start to get sick, because the physiological processes run slower than they should. Hypodynamia – the root cause of many diseases, from diabetes to heart disease and even a stroke. Movement helps maintain health, improve metabolism, including fat, glucose and insulin.
Until recently, most experts agreed that cardio exercise is beneficial if performed for 20-60 minutes without a break. However, recent studies by American scientists have proven that even a 10-minute workout has a positive effect on the metabolism, with a healthful effect comparable to that of a longer workout.
So by incorporating a short fitness routine into your day, you can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, whether or not you manage to lose a few extra pounds.
It used to be believed: you can’t be in good shape by being overweight.
Now they are sure: if you do fitness, then your physical shape is better than that of those who lead a sedentary lifestyle (and whether you are obese or not – does not matter).
The level of fitness is often associated with weight, which is fundamentally wrong. Being in shape is a rather subjective concept, which includes strength, health and well-being. All of this, as it turns out, has little to do with the arrow of the scale. Of course, obesity comes with increased health risks. Clinicians continue to debate whether exercise alone can reduce the likelihood of disease without losing weight. But more and more scientists are leaning toward the idea that sports are healthier than losing weight.
Observations of 22,000 men aged 30 to 83 years, conducted at an American clinic, have shown that obese people who lead an active lifestyle have half the risk of death than thin, but not athletic men.
In addition, it is impossible to get rid of excess weight quickly, and exercise has an immediate health-promoting effect. Perhaps information about the beneficial properties of exercise can help change our life values.
It used to be thought: fitness is just physical activity.
Now we’re sure: fitness includes a spiritual element as well.
Most people hardly associate prayer with fitness. But research suggests that it’s time to reconsider our views on the soul-body connection. Of course, spirituality needs to be understood more broadly than is customary in any religion.
The point is that your life should have meaning, purpose, and satisfaction. It would be foolish to think of faith in God as a kind of vitamin for the soul. But the awareness that there is some kind of higher power is very healthy. This simple truth has long been known to followers of the teachings of yoga: you cannot have a healthy body if you are at odds with your feelings and mind.
It’s not hard to make your life more spiritual. Try saying thankfulness to yourself for waking up this morning and having food on the table or just going for a walk and enjoying the world around you.
It used to be believed: exercise causes positive emotions.
Now it’s certain: positive emotions improve physical health.
No one denies that exercise and good physical fitness are good for health. But it’s time to expand on this postulate. Fitness has a positive effect on mental health as well. Scientific data show that active people suffer from depression less often, they are more confident. It’s no coincidence that traditional medicine is increasingly turning to body-oriented psychotherapy methods to treat a variety of illnesses, including hypertension, insomnia and chronic pain.
Brain biochemistry research is helping to provide new insights into the connection between our bodily and spiritual worlds. Emotions stimulate the brain to produce chemicals called neuropeptides. The blood carries them through the body, and they affect all organs, including the digestive tract, heart, hormonal and immune systems. So positive thinking really does have healing power.
Everything we think about ourselves affects how we feel and how our bodies function. This confirms how important it is to make time for things that are pleasing to the soul, such as friends and family or hobbies.