Health & Fitness Guide

Walking, lifting weights, doing chores – it’s all good. Regardless of what you do, regular exercise and physical activity is the path to health and well-being. Exercise burns fat, builds muscle, lowers cholesterol, eases stress and anxiety, lets us sleep restfully. In this guide, we match resources to your exercise needs — at every fitness level.

The health and fitness field offers many career opportunities. Individuals interested in helping others maintain their physical well-being may pursue degree and certification programs in their field of interest. Read on to learn about what it takes to work in the health and fitness industry.

Inside Health and Fitness


If you’re interested in the physical well-being of yourself and others, you may consider an education in health and fitness. Degree and certification programs are available in fields such as nutrition, athletic training, physical therapy or fitness.This training can lead to careers as nutritionists, fitness trainers, personal trainers, aerobics instructors or coaches, among others. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals in this field must be outgoing, in good health, organized, have good communication skills and be able to motivate others (www.bls.gov). To further explore education and professional options in health and fitness, take a look at the following Study.com articles.

Education Information


Depending on your interest, you can undertake a certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree program. Your coursework may include human anatomy and physiology, business concepts, exercise principles, personal fitness, nutrition and fitness planning. Visit the links below to get additional information on degree options in health and fitness.

Exercise daily

for at least an hour. You do not have to kill yourself from running, jogging, etc., but you should have some sort of moderate physical activity in your everyday life. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds fast, do a higher-level intensity workout. For example, go on a walk at a brisk pace for an hour. Or, you can jog and set certain intervals to sprint during that hour. Make sure you’re not in severe pain during your workout. Just a warning, your muscles will ache after a high intensity workout. It may be irritating, but that means your body is changing for the better. Be sure to stay hydrated, stretch, and eat foods with a decent amount of protein after each workout. The protein will help keep your muscles, not fat, rebuilding.

Eat the Right Foods and Portion Each Meal


No matter how bad your stomach is telling you to go for candy over healthy food, try to stay away from sweets. Sugar from candy will not help you get in shape. Even if it’s just a single candy bar, one will eventually lead to another. Fruits and vegetables are the best thing to eat when getting into shape. Apples, for example, do a good job at making the stomach feel full for up to 3 to 4 hours. Green vegetables such as green beans and broccoli keep the digestive system clean and running.

Also, stick to lean meats like turkey and chicken. Seafood, such as, shrimp, and tilapia are also great alternatives. These foods are full of protein and healthy nutrients to help keep muscles fit and ready for workouts. In addition, be sure to portion what you eat. Having a good metabolism comes from portioning meals. Try to plan out eating six times a day and setting smaller portions, rather than having three large meals throughout the day. This will also help you find yourself breathing smoother when working out rather than huffing and puffing for air. This is because you will have less food in your digestive system, which means more energy is used toward your exercise.

Be Sure to Get Sleep


Even though most of us have eight-hour jobs during the day or night, it is crucial to get enough sleep to recharge the body’s batteries. Six to eight hours of sleep will keep the body going throughout the day, but if you happen to feel tired at any point after coming home from work, by all means take a small nap before exercising. You should only nap for about a half hour. This will prevent you from staying up later in the night.

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