Becoming a fitness professional entails more than helping people to lift heavier weights, run faster or cycle longer distances. People are also looking to improve their overall health and wellbeing, which covers a range of areas.
To be considered ‘healthy’, a person should embody the components of total fitness:
|Physical fitness||The wellbeing of the body systems, including the heart, lungs, muscles, bones and joints. It covers health-related and skill-related components.|
|Mental and emotional fitness||The wellbeing of the mind; a positive mental state and harmony between the mind and emotions. It includes a person’s ability to manage stress.|
|Medical fitness||Being free from injury, chronic disease and illness.|
|Nutritional fitness||Having access to healthy food; eating a healthy diet with a balance nutritional intake for fuel, growth and repair.|
|Social fitness||Having healthy interactions and relationships with others.|
An individual’s potential to lead a healthy lifestyle is very much influence by a number of key factors, some of which can be controlled and some that cannot.
The WHO suggests that, although we may have control over our lifestyle behaviours, there are environmental factors that strongly influence the likelihood of an individual leading a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle. These are:
Adopting poor lifestyle behaviours, such as inactivity, eating a poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption, can increase the risk of illnesses and diseases, such as:
The role of physical activity in health and wellbeing
Physical activity doesn’t have to be structured exercise or sport; alternatives include:
The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) categorises physical activity levels in the following way:
In order to maintain a good level of health, it is recommended that adults should partake in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity or an equivalent combination of both each week.
Sport England’s most recent ‘Active Lives’ survey found the English population to still be below par in their physical activity levels:
Health benefits of physical activity
Physical activity carries a wide range of health benefits, which include:
(Department of Health, 2011)