Basic Fitness

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College is certainly an academically challenging time, but it also is the most sedentary time of life for the average student. If you are not involved in some type of fitness activity at least a few days out of the week, now is the time to begin laying the foundation for a healthier life, in much the same way you are now laying your foundation for a prosperous career.

It's a guarantee that at some point in your adult life you will begin to be concerned about your general health. More often than not, this concern is precipitated by the desire to lose weight.

 It starts with the gaining of the "freshman 10 to 15," which at first is o.k. because it only makes you look a little more filled out. However, it doesn't stop there.
 If you have gained 10 to 15 pounds in your first one to two years in college, chances are that you will continue to gain weight. 
If you are gaining weight in this way, it's a true sign that you are no longer a growing boy or girl. 
As growth slows, the energy needed to fuel that growth diminishes. Unfortunately, the indicators that tell your brain that so much food is no longer needed don't seem to kick in as the engine revs down. The result is weight gain.

Also, being in college brings a new freedom to eat whatever you please whenever you want it. 

Mother doesn't do the cooking anymore, so you may eat far too many hamburgers and french fries. And if you eat at a campus cafeteria, the fat content of your food choices may be as high or higher than the special sauce, oil-dripping delicacies you find at your local fast food restaurant. 
It is also common for once highly active high schoolers to become less active in a program is to understand the priorities of diet and exercise.

 Fitness has five basic components.
 The first is cardiovascular strength and endurance, which includes the heart and lungs. 
The stronger the heart muscle, the more oxygen-rich blood can be delivered to the body with less effort. 
Body composition, the second component, encompasses a healthy diet, which is directly related to your percentage of body fat.
 Healthy body fat levels are 15 to 25 percent for a young adult female and 8 to 16 percent for a young adult male.

 People may naturally fall below or above these levels.
 However, if you are more than five percent below or above you have cause for concern. The third component is muscular strength and endurance. Increased muscular strength will allow you to take on daily activities with less stress and effort.
 Flexibility is the next component of fitness and the most overlooked part of a healthy fitness routine. 
A healthy muscle should be strong yet pliable, allowing full range of motion. The last component of a fitness program is relaxation, which is related to mental and physical stress.
 Daily exercise and a healthy diet should help reduce stress. However, it is useful to practice stress reduction techniques for relieving everyday stresses.

If you are the typical college student age 18 to 30 who have decided to begin a fitness program, your chances of being successful are greatest now.

 The longer you wait, the harder it will be. 
This is not to say that as you get older it is harder to get your body into shape. 
It simply means that as your responsibilities increase, maintaining a fitness program becomes more challenging. 
The most difficult obstacle to overcome is finding the time to practice your healthy lifestyle. 
The beginning is simple, but always keep in mind that this will be a lifestyle change that you will practice throughout life, not a quick fix.

The number one rule is to progress slowly. 

Do not start a diet, jog 10 miles, and lift weights for an hour in the first day of your fitness program. New routines, even though they may be desirable, are stressful for you emotionally and physically.
 Take one priority at a time and develop something that works for you. Generally, cardiovascular conditioning is the easiest, to begin with, so that is a good place to start.

source: Council, Rosalind, Diversity Employers

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