How do I increase my physical fitness

UniSport² Cologne

Being physically fit is not only “in”, but also an expression of health, well-being and performance. “Mens sana in corpore sano”: A healthy mind lives in a healthy body. So it is hardly surprising that many scientific studies have shown that good physical fitness contributes to a stable psyche.

Even if the term fitness cannot be clearly defined - for the triathlete, the stressed student or the elderly grandmother, it does not mean the same thing by a long way - fitness can be simplified as a conditional ability:

Improving the figure is arguably the most popular goal of fitness athletes. The ideal image of the figure is, however, subject to a subjective size, corresponding trends and culture.

In the baroque era, lush shapes were still very popular and well-nourished bodies were considered a status symbol, today slim bodies are considered a coveted luxury good. We just have to look at the advertisements to see that the washboard abs is back in vogue without question. Obesity has long ceased to be desirable.

What counts especially today is a "sporty" figure. And that can only be achieved through this very sporting activity, namely through endurance training and especially through strength training. Only a harmonious, trained musculature improves the posture, brings firmness to the skin tissue, a lower body fat percentage and a certain body tension. A balanced diet is of course the basis for improving your figure. It's great that it is so. Our modern ideal of beauty, the revival of antiquity, also creates all the prerequisites for a healthy lifestyle.

Figure training in facts:

Endurance training

  • reduces body fat mass by 0.4 to 3.2 kg, with the fat-free mass remaining the same.

Strength training

  • reduces body fat mass by 0.9 to 2.9 kg with a simultaneous increase in lean mass by 1.1 - 2.1 kg.
  • increases the basal metabolic rate by approx. 10%, since built-up muscles also consume energy (= fat) (muscles are metabolically 25 times as active as fat).
  • stands for "figure design" through muscle building, since only the skeletal muscles have active body-shaping capabilities.
  • combats cellulite through increased skin tension, better blood circulation and a significant breakdown of intercellular and subcutaneous fat tissue.

 

Targeted fat reduction

- instead of just losing weight. In terms of health, but also for a more attractive appearance, diets rarely help.

If you look at your success in the mirror after a diet, you are always disappointed to find that despite the pounds you lost, you unfortunately did not lose weight where you actually wanted.
You weigh five kilos less, but the ring around your waist is still there. No wonder! After all, you only lost weight, but hardly any fat. In addition, the body composition does not experience any improvement and the so-called yo-yo effect occurs again and again.

When we diet, we mainly lose muscles; it is not biologically possible to lose more than half a kilo of fat per week. The less we eat, the less fat we lose.

So if you don't just want to reduce weight, but want to lose fat in a very targeted manner, i.e. want to lose weight specifically where the fat is, namely on the stomach, buttocks and legs, then there is nothing more effective than a well-planned fitness training. Because we don't actually eat too much, we move too little for what we eat.

“Converting the wobbly into something crisp” is often the goal. Sagging buttocks, sagging shoulders, undefined body shapes .... This brings us back to the figure, but specifically to the muscles, because one thing is certain: muscles are the make-up under the skin.

It has long been known that people lose muscle mass with age, namely 2 to 3 kg per decade of life from the age of 30. But what we know even better today is that the reduced stress on the body is primarily the cause of the breakdown. In order to counteract this, movement must ostensibly be found, and concrete stress! Load means in the truest sense of the word: strength training with sufficiently high resistance!
 
Effects of strength training on the muscles

  • The muscle cross-section increases due to the thickening of the muscle fibers.
  • The muscle that gets bigger can work more economically and safely.
  • The muscle that has been trained with sufficiently high resistance has improved damping properties, can absorb greater external forces and provide greater joint protection.
  • The muscle building correlates with the gain in strength. This increases all body functions and performance in everyday life and in other sports. With more physical strength, you can push yourself off the ground more strongly while running, lift heavier objects, and generally move more easily, better, faster, more elegantly and more safely.

 

Strengthen your back

Back problems - a common disease. 80% of all back pain can be traced back to a lack of exercise and muscle weakness! Where should sufficient strength come from nowadays when there is no longer any task for our body at the desk or on the couch? After all, like any other tissue, the muscles react by adapting to the living conditions.

Due to the mostly static permanent stress in everyday life and the constant under-demands of the muscles, there is considerable loss of strength and mobility as well as long-term complaints and performance drops. An all-round strong core, on the other hand, provides extremely life-relevant health benefits!

The most important muscle groups that guarantee the security of the spine are: back extension muscles, straight and lateral abdominal muscles, latissimus, the pelvic muscles and the cervical spine muscles.
 
Spine relief through strong core muscles

  • It is easier and longer to adopt postures that are favorable to the spine.
  • The fact that the entire posture is positively influenced also has positive effects on the psyche.
  • When lifting heavy objects, the load is distributed better.
  • All joints that are subjected to a load can be braced and secured with the muscles.
  • Quick evasive and slowing movements are possible without injury, as the muscles can dampen better.
  • Higher muscle pulling forces, which strength-trained muscles have, also train bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments, which react with greater strength over time.
  • Arms and legs can be positioned faster and more stable during fast activities, e.g. in sports with throwing, pushing and kicking movements.

Our heart is the engine of life! It beats about 50-80 times per minute and thus pumps the supply and transport medium blood through the body.

The most important training effect of endurance training - the continuous load in a medium intensity range - is that the stroke volume, i.e. the amount of oxygen-rich blood that is pumped out of the heart with one pulse, increases. In the opposite direction, the heart rate is reduced. This means that the "engine" works more economically, in other words with more "torque". The heart is spared. You will be amazed at how many beats your resting heart rate and also the exercise heart rate will be lower through regular endurance training.

Endurance training not only improves performance and well-being, but also plays a decisive role in the prevention of degenerative cardiovascular diseases and in strengthening the immune system. Endurance training is therefore an excellent way to combat existing risk factors and preventively strengthen the heart and circulation.
In addition, endurance training increases the ability to regenerate more quickly and creates a basic skill for other sports.

Once started, the training is really fun and it releases lots of happiness hormones! In UniFit, choosing your favorite device becomes a torture. Six different types of cardio equipment are available to you: cross trainers, sit-down bikes, recumbent bikes, treat climbers, treadmills and rowing ergometers.

An overview of the health effects of endurance training

  • Decrease in resting heart rate and exercise heart rate
  • Increasing the stroke volume, volume instead of frequency work, reduction of the overall cardiac load
  • Increase in the maximum cardiac output
  • Expansion and increase of the blood vessels and thus a better supply of the organs and muscles with oxygen and nutrients
  • Expansion and increase in the coronary arteries and thus a better blood supply to the heart itself
  • Lower stress hormone release
  • Improved oxygen uptake, storage and processing
  • Stronger and more economical breathing
  • Easier mobilization of the fatty acids from the fat deposits
  • Reducing the calorie excess

 

Increase joint stability

Strength training not only increases muscle mass and thus the attractiveness of the appearance, but also reinforces the structures that are involved in power transmission. These include: bones, tendons, ligaments, fascia, articular cartilage, fiber cartilage (e.g. intervertebral discs) and joint capsules. For example, the thickness of the joint cartilage layer (e.g. in the knee) correlates with the size of the load.

A strong muscle spans the joint and holds it tightly together. The "play" in the joint is small and the wear and tear is correspondingly low. It is not for nothing that experts recommend "real" strength training supervised by competent trainers, especially for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

The earlier you start, the faster you will reach your goal!