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Physically Fit Essay

1540 words - 6 pages

Imagine a young man or woman finishing a marathon in less than three hours. Envision some dude built like a brick house showing off his bulging muscles and sporting a six-pack on the beach. Picture some beast in the weight room that is strong as an ox and putting up 400 pounds on the bench. When classifying somebody’s fitness and health, many people feel feats such as these are guidelines, or requirements, to being considered “physically fit.” Often times, people are somewhat mistaken as to what exactly constitutes as being physically fit. They see professional athletes, body builders, or models and say to themselves, “I want to be physically fit like they are.” What these people look past is the fact that even though these people may be physically fit, looking and performing like they do is not a requirement of physical fitness. The truth is, being considered physically fit includes several testable factors of health which can be interpreted in various ways. Body or figure, resting heart rate, strength and endurance, and flexibility are each equally important aspects to consider when testing whether a person is physically fit.
When it comes to one's body or figure, a lot of people believe that in order to be classified as physically fit, he or she must have the perfect body reminiscent of a model. This is not actually true. In fact, there are certain body tests that can be performed in order to find one's level of fitness. These tests have certain cut-offs so to speak that determine whether a person falls under the category of physically fit. The first of these tests is the BMI (Body Mass Index). What the BMI basically does is figures out if one's weight is healthy for their height. In order to figure out a BMI, take the person's weight in pounds, divide it by the height in inches squared, and multiply this number by 703. A BMI for adults less than 19.1 for women or 20.7 for men is considered underweight. To fall in the overweight level, it is 27.3-32.2 for women and 27.8-31.1 for men (Brar). The body mass index formula was actually developed by the Belgian statistician Adolphe Quetelet in the nineteenth century (Brar). The BMI is a good way to predict adult's health risks, but it is not necessarily perfect for all people. Results can sometimes be misleading for people who are built stockier, professional athletes, and body builders. This is because it does not take frame size into account or extra weight that is primarily muscle. Also, people over 65 do not fit the BMI ranges as they are naturally supposed to have a slightly higher level to act as a useful energy reserve to fight possible illness.
An additional test one can perform to check their physical fitness is called the waist to hip ratio. To find this, one must use a tape measure to find the circumference of their hips at the widest part of the buttocks and the smallest circumference of the waist just above the belly button. Then, divide the waist measurement by the hip...

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