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Although many people train specifically to lose weight quickly, or for a race or other type of athletic event, a lifetime fitness program is meant to promote and maintain your fitness over the long term so that you can continue to live a healthy and normal lifestyle. Instead of working out at high intensity to see immediate changes, more emphasis is placed on consistency and making fitness part of your daily habits.
Lifetime fitness is the ideal of a more long-term fitness program meant to slowly, yet efficiently, improve your health. Instead of training for a specific event or reason, efforts are made to follow a healthy lifestyle and consistency with fitness sessions. An overall lifetime fitness health regime should work to improve and maintain the five elements of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility and body composition.
The American Heart Association says adults 18 to 65 years old should get in 30 minutes of moderately intense activity at least five days a week 1. The 30 minutes don't have to be done in one session, however; the United States Department of Agriculture claims that it’s just as effective to break up your fitness activities in 10-minute increments throughout the day. To prevent typical weight gain that comes with getting older, participate in 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, exercising consistently in a long-term, lifetime fitness program keeps your heart and lungs healthy, builds and maintains bone mass, keeps you at a healthy body weight, prevents obesity-related diseases, improves daily energy, promotes better sleep and increases self-confidence.
Strategies for Fitness
The key to a lifetime fitness program is to make it easy and fun. Participate in activities that you enjoy. Make it a group effort and invite your family and friends to join you in hikes or other activities. Make more of an effort to walk, run or bike to destinations instead of driving. Use your bike to run errands whenever you can. While on vacation, make efforts to participate in physical activity, such as by packing a jump rope for a cardiovascular workout, or take advantage and walk or jog at your vacation destination.
Habits for a Lifetime
Lifetime fitness efforts are not effective for immediate physical changes. Improvements in the elements of fitness effectively develop over time. Those who participate and buy into the lifetime fitness idea typically learn how to make long-term healthy changes. Those who are concerned with immediate impacts, such as losing weight quickly, are less likely to develop healthy habits.
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