physical fitness dancePhysical Fitness is defined as the general health of the human body with reference to soundness, vitality, vigor and freedom from disease or ailment. Essential to maintaining ones physical fitness is exercise. Physical exercise may be generally described as rhythmic movement of the body and raising the heart rate to varying points of exertion.

Besides burning calories, physical exercise increases the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories used by the body when it is at rest.

A person’s basal metabolic rate is based on body functions such as respiration, digestion, heartbeat, and brain function. One’s age, sex, body weight, and level of physical activity impact the basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate increases with the amount of muscle tissue a person has, and it reduces with age.

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BMR accounts for most of a person’s calorie use.

The BMR can be increased after only 30 minutes of moderate physical activity.

For many people the basal metabolic rate can remain elevated 10% for approximately 48 hours after the activity. This means, for example, even after the physical activity, when a person is sedentary and watching television, the body is using more calories than usual.

Twenty minutes of continuous aerobic activity 3 days per week is recommended to maintain health. Examples of physical activity that are considered aerobic are: walking, running, jogging, hiking, swimming, bike riding, rowing, cross country skiing and jumping rope.

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