Health it can be defined as ‘complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. This is an interesting definition, as people tend to feel healthy simply when they don’t feel sick. This definition clearly describes that health is much more and involves feelings of happiness, social interaction and energy.
The components of health are:
Fitness it can be defined as ‘the ability to meet the demands of the environment’ and relates to the physical demands of life. Therefore, a person working in an office requires lower levels of fitness than an Olympic athlete. There are a growing number of people working in jobs that don’t require a lot of physical activity. These jobs are described as non-physical or sedentary and mean that the level of fitness required to perform them is low. This can lead to more people having low levels of fitness and lowering levels of health in society. This would lead to more people with a low level of fitness in society and levels of health would decline.
Exercise can be defined as ‘a form of physical exercise done to improve health or fitness or both’. It is recommended that adults and children follow different activity routines to maintain good health and fitness:
adults – five sessions of thirty minutes of activity per week. The activity should be physical enough to make the adult breathe more deeply and break out in a sweat.
children and youth – seven sessions of sixty minutes per week. At least two of these sessions should be high-intensity exercise such as running, jumping or cardiovascular sports. The seven hours can be spread over a week.
In this context, it becomes essential that physical exercise is incorporated into the structure of the typical day. Good examples of this might be walking or biking together to work or school, playing games together in the backyard, and participating in active experiences on the weekend, such as walking in the countryside or riding bikes. Children learn a lot from their parents and therefore it is important for parents to present active role models and opportunities to their children.
The cyclical relationship between health, fitness and exercise
The consequences of a sedentary lifestyle
If a person does not engage in regular physical activity, exercise or sport, then he is at risk for various diseases and negative effects, such as:
- weight gain or obesity
- heart disease
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- sleep badly
- low self-esteem