Physical Fitness

altIn modern society, many people find that they do not get very much exercise. They travel by bus, train, or car, and they can move up or down in elevators. They have machines that do most of the heavy work that was once done by people. However, exercise is important for staying healthy. A person who exercises frequently will be “physically fit.” There are different aspects of physical fitness.

One important element of being physically fit is called cardiovascular fitness. The word “cardio-vascular” refers to the heart and lungs. If one’s heart and lungs are in good condition, then one can exercise at a steady pace without soon getting tired. To develop cardio-vascular fitness, it is important to perform some exercise that makes one’s heart beat quickly. For example, a person can improve cardio-vascular fitness by riding a bicycle, by running, by swimming, by rowing, or even by walking quickly. Some people go to special places, called “health clubs” or “gyms,” where they can use different exercise machines to develop their cardio-vascular fitness. But many people improve their cardio-vascular fitness by playing recreational sports, such as tennis or soccer, or by dancing vigorously. By having good cardio-vascular fitness, one is less likely to suffer from heart disease. Of course, there is one way to improve cardio-vascular fitness that does not involve exercise: stop smoking!

Another important aspect of physical fitness is called flexibility. Flexibility refers to one’s ability to stretch comfortably. For example, a healthy person should be able to touch his or her toes without bending the legs. People can perform various stretching exercises to improve flexibility. By being flexible, a person can avoid injuries that might otherwise affect their body. Yet another important aspect of physical fitness is the strength and endurance of one’s muscles. Many people suffer from injuries that result, in part, from weakness of the muscles. Muscular strength and endurance can be improved by a variety of exercises. Some of these exercises involve lifting a weight, but other exercises simply involve pushing or pulling against the weight of one’s own body. One example is an exercise called the “push-up.” In this exercise, a person lies on the floor, with the face pointing down. The person bends his or her arms, so that the palms of the hands are on the floor, next to the shoulders. The person then pushes with his or her arms, lifting the upper part of the body above the ground until the arms are straight.

Before starting to do any exercises, it is a good idea to have a medical check-up. Some people do not want to exercise because they think it will be too much work. However, many people find that they feel very good when they exercise. Exercising can be an enjoyable and fun way to maintain health and fitness.


any type of exercise that makes the heart stronger and healthier, for example running
a combination of cardio, weight training, and kung fu








relating to the tubes through which liquids flow in the bodies of animals or in plants
-vascular disease



to make a boat move across water using oars
row away/towards/across
She rowed across the lake.
Jenny used to row at college (=as a sport) .


an activity that you do for pleasure or amusement  →  hobby ,  pastime ,  leisure :

– His only recreations are drinking beer and watching football.
the provision of  recreation facilities    (= places or equipment for people to use to enjoy themselves )
recreation ground/area/room
-a recreation area for children to play in.

recreational  adjective :
recreational activities


fun noun
especially spoken   an experience or activity that is very enjoyable and exciting :
The course was fun.
Have you ever been windsurfing? It’s really good fun.
I just want to relax and have some fun.
It’ll be fun seeing all my old friends again.
Running around a freezing hockey field isn’t my idea of fun.

enjoyment   noun
the feeling you get when you enjoy doing something :
I get a lot of enjoyment out of working with young children.

pleasure   noun
an experience or activity that makes you feel happy and satisfied :
The game was a pleasure to watch.
One of her greatest pleasures was walking in the mountains.
Ted enjoyed the simple pleasures of life:
his family, his home, and his garden.

good/great time   noun
especially spoken   a time when you enjoyed yourself :
The kids all  had a great time .
I remember the good times in Japan.
Were the 1960s really such great times?

a blast   informal   a very enjoyable experience – a very informal use :
The trip was a blast!

entertainment   noun things such as performances and films which are intended to be enjoyable :

Three musicians provided the entertainment.
What do you do for entertainment around here?
They hired two dancers for entertainment.



noun a way of resting and enjoying yourself :

I play the piano for relaxation.
Her work left little time for relaxation.

leisure   noun the time when you are not working, when you can enjoy yourself – used especially in compounds :

leisure activities
the leisure industry
People have more leisure time.

recreation   noun formal   activities that you do to enjoy yourself :

recreation facilities
The park is not just a place for recreation





using a lot of energy and strength or determination
Your dog needs at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. Environmentalists have begun a vigorous campaign to oppose nuclear dumping in the area. a vigorous debate Vigorous efforts are being made to find a solution to the problem. The measures provoked vigorous opposition in right-wing circles.

ᅳvigorously adverb

the ability to continue doing something difficult or painful over a long period of time
physical/mental endurance
She was pushed beyond her powers of endurance .
The marathon is a test of endurance .
endurance sports/training (=designed to test or improve your endurance)

having large, strong muscles
She was fast and strong, with a slender, muscular body.

He’s very muscular.


an exercise in which you lie on the floor on your chest and push yourself up with your arms
British Equivalent: press-up
every morning I do fifty push-ups







to continue to have, do, etc., as before; KEEP up: He took the lead, and maintained it until the end of the race. | I hope you will maintain your recent improvement. | Part of her job is to maintain good relations with our suppliers.