CHAPTER 1 Fitness is More Than a Physical Pursuit When considering the term“fitness,” the first things that probably come to your mind are activities like going to the gym, maintaining a healthy body weight, and drinking plenty of water. All of these variables are, without a doubt, integral parts of what it means to be fit. Physical fitness is strongly emphasized in our society today, primarily for its physiological benefits. Unfortunately, many other beneficial factors have also become prevalent for the wrong reasons all of the sudden. In case you are unaware of just how sedentary we have become as a population, according to themost recent data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , in 2018, approximately 42 percent of the U.S. populationwas considered obese. This phenomenon is unrivaled by any other period in time since this type of data has been reported. If simply stating the percentage of obese individuals living in the United States today does not do the issue enough justice, let’s use rawnumbers. In 2018, there were just 327million people living in the United States. This means that more than 137million of these individuals were obese! As you can see, there is a legitimate reason that the need for regular exercise, and healthy dietary choices has become such a talking point. While being “fit” on a physical basis is one of most effective ways to ensuremaximumquality of life andwill be discussed in great detail throughout this book, there is another side to fitness that has seemingly taken a back seat to the obesity epidemic. This no-less-important variable inwhat constitutes overall fitness is mental health, and things are not looking so good in this area either.


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