Developing your body’s flexibility, endurance, and strength through regular exercise is an essential part of being physically fit. If you want to stand out in a sport, or you just want to look and feel your best, exercise will make it happen.
It’s important to develop your body to its full potential. To many young women, that means being thin. The key is not how thin you are, but how physically fit. Physical fitness - through a combination of flexibility, endurance, and muscular strength - will maintain your weight at the right level and give you the attractiveness you seek.
Just playing volleyball, for example, won’t make you physically fit. To play volleyball well, you need to develop your flexibility, endurance, and strength. That’s why coaches insist on stretching, as well as aerobic and resistance exercises.
- Stretching exercises help you perform your best and avoid injury and muscle cramps. They improve muscle and joint flexibility.
- Aerobic exercises help you run and run and run without getting out of breath. They build up endurance by increasing heart and lung capacity.
- Resistance exercises tone your body and strengthen your muscles. They increase muscular strength and conditioning.
- Decide on your exercise goals. What do you want to achieve? For example, if you want to improve your endurance, emphasize aerobic exercises. If you want to tone your body, emphasize resistance exercises. Make your goals reasonable and realistic.
- Develop an exercise plan based on your goals. Be sure your plan includes warm-up and stretching (flexibility), aerobic (endurance), and resistance (strength) exercises. To excel in any one requires work in all three.
- Set up a regular exercise schedule and stick to it. You are more likely to continue exercising when you have a schedule to follow.
- Begin slowly and progress little by little. If you’re just starting a program, start with easy exercises. Gradually work up to more advanced exercises.
- Keep track of your progress by writing it down.
- Get a friend to exercise with you. Consider working with a coach or trainer to motivate you and provide instruction.
- Try to exercise three to four days a week for about 30 to 45 minutes each time. It’s important to allow your body time to recover between workouts. Don’t overdo it.
More fitness and health information and advice: The Girl's Fitness Guide: Expert Coaching for Young Women