February 25 2021
Physical Fitness and Mental Fitness are two vital goals that one strives to achieve. They are two peas in a pod and go hand-in-hand. Here, we’ll talk about both physical and mental fitness and the innumerable benefits it offers for the body and the soul. The fast-paced lifestyle, staring at computer screens all day, has plummeted our physical, mental, and social well-being. To reverse its adverse effects, one must take care of oneself holistically.
Let’s come to the question at hand- what is physical fitness? How do we know if we are fit?
Physical fitness is the ability to perform daily tasks without undue fatigue. So, if you’re unable to do so lately, chances are you are unfit. Physical fitness includes:
Muscular strength- Muscles are made of proteins- particularly actin and myosin. Therefore, a high intake of protein is essential. Along with it, it is imperative to exercise those muscles to build them. Regular work-out causes the muscles to expand and increase actin and myosin production. Also, trained muscles work synchronously in contrast to untrained muscles. There are also supplements available in the market that aid in building muscle strength and muscle rejuvenation.
ALVIZIA’s ZMA supplements for men is a product containing 60 soft gel capsules composed of Zinc, Magnesium, and Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). Zinc is known to supplement testosterone levels, and magnesium works wonders by promoting deep sleep, improved bone, and muscle strength.
- Body composition- This is a significant parameter as two people weighing the same doesn’t always denote the same physical fitness. Muscle mass, amount of fat, and water composition need to be taken into consideration. A more amount of muscle mass compared to fat is favored. Athletes usually have an average of 15% fat content.
- Flexibility- Flexibility is defined as the degree of movement around a joint. An activity that stretches the tendons, ligaments, and bones aid in increasing flexibility. In our ancient texts- the Rigveda, various poses of Yoga are mentioned which instill flexibility in the body in addition to playing a physiological role. The mountain pose or Tadasana, Garland pose or Malasana, seated forward bend or Paschimottasana are few yoga asanas that work as stretching exercises.
- Cardiopulmonary endurance- Activities that increase the supply in the cardio-respiratory system are those that increase a person’s cardiopulmonary endurance. These activities include swimming, jogging, walking, etc. These result in an increased heart rate and the long term leads to increased stamina. A crucial advantage is that by increasing the blood supply to the tissues/organs, it also increases the oxygen delivery to that particular tissue/organ which is necessary for its survival.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 3-5 times of aerobic exercise per week for 30-60 minutes, at an intensity of 65-85 percent of the maximum heart rate. Regular activity has numerous long-term and short- term benefits in individuals.
Long-term benefits of Exercise
- Cardio-respiratory fitness
- Bone function improved
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke, heart failure, etc.
- Decreased adipose tissue composition in children
- Improved mental health as mental and physical health go hand-in-hand.
Short-term benefits of exercise include
- There is an improvement in the ‘deep-sleep’ of the sleep cycle as some research suggests exercise helps the brain to rejuvenate.
- Increased happiness quotient. Exercise helps the body to release molecules called ‘endorphins’ which in simple language, makes us feel positive and happy and helps in driving away from the negative thoughts of depression and anxiety.
- You might have also observed that a daily morning exercise can ironically make you feel more energized than before. It keeps your brain active throughout the day which can be seen as an increase in productivity.
All the above advantages must give you enough motivation to work out regularly! If not, try it for yourself and feel the difference.
Mental fitness is all about creating and maintaining a positive outlook on life. Constant thinking about the glass half empty instead of half-full can lead to a life of perpetual disappointment and dissatisfaction.
Research has proven that neural pathways can be rewired by our thoughts. Persistently thinking about a particular thing strengthens it. Thus, confident, happy, and positive ideas seed positivity and happiness. Although it is undoubtedly natural to feel sad and anxious at times, providing such debilitating notions a permanent residence depends on you!
A calm and focused mind is the key to productivity. Our ancients texts mention the benefits of yoga on our mental health. Few asanas you could try at home include Garudasana (eagle pose) which helps balance your posture and breathing while keeping you focused; Natarajasana (dancer’s pose); vajrasana and padmasana. Pranayam or meditation is of utmost importance to improve concentration, alleviate breathing difficulties, and overall relaxing of mind and body. Thus, 30 min of Yoga every day can provide you with a myriad of benefits for both the body and mind. It’s magic works holistically.
Other physical activities that you may engage in include swimming, cycling, and dancing. Again, physically exhausting exercises release the ‘happy hormones’ that we talked about earlier which satiates your emotional needs.
Other activities which stimulate the brain include:
- Learn a new hobby or activity: As we all know, the brain is a muscle. It requires constant efforts to keep it active and to develop new neural networks. Learning something new that is challenging to the brain, say chess or scrabble, is an excellent way to achieve this.
- Denote some time to relax: Taking out time to relax and rejuvenate is particularly helpful to keep you energized. In this ever so exhausting world, taking out 30-60 minutes of your time to do what you love alleviates stress and covers you with a soothing veil of peace.
- As we are social creatures, engaging in stimulating conversations with others will not only increase the knowledge of the world around you but also will keep you mentally fit.
- Watch what you eat is applicable here too! Foods enriched with Vitamin B like green leafy vegetables and dairy foods must be an essential component of your diet. Vitamin B is a vital food substance for the brain. Along with it, L carnitine is also a decorated amino acid molecule that can cross the brain in its acetylated form and improve brain function by supporting mitochondrial function and neural networks. We can get obtain this through dairy and meat products.Nowadays, supplements are available to bolster pre and post-workout fitness. L- carnitine supplements by ALVIZIA Healthcare come in a bottle pack of 90 tablets that also work as fat burners in addition to their role in brain function.