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What Is General Fitness?

A young woman does push ups during a workout.
Jogging provides an aerobic workout.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
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General fitness is part of overall health. It means having a healthy body weight as well an ability to perform physical fitness activities without tiring easily. Specific fitness is the opposite of this form of fitness. It refers to how well a person is able to master specific levels in a sport.

Fitness for weight loss and maintenance is considered general in that it can consist of different physical activities to achieve health. General fitness training combines activities that provide all-over toning as well as cardiovascular benefits. For instance, cycling or swimming at a moderate pace gets the heart pumping and increases oxygen through the body. These exercises also tone and strengthen the body in a general, all-over way. Building muscles such as through weight lifting or training is also considered as general fitness.

When workouts are done to enhance performance in a certain sport, this is specific, rather than general, fitness. Exercise strategies in specific fitness are designed for that sport. For instance, personal trainers specializing in a certain sport such as golf will help clients with arm movements and balance exercises to help improve the swing. Balance is important in golf, as poor posture can throw off an otherwise good swing and connection with the ball. In general fitness, golf may be used as an activity to help tone arms as well as just participate in an outdoor sport.

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A workout focused on this type of fitness could be as simple as walking, since it helps in overall health. Brisk walking can provide cardiovascular exercise as well as arm and leg toning. Some people increase the intensity of their general exercise by gradually adding jogging or running to walking workouts. Any exercise routine performed to aid in overall health is considered as general fitness.

While certain arm or leg movements or balance techniques are used as a part of specific fitness training to improve skill in a certain game such as golf or tennis, general fitness, if done regularly, can help reduce the risks from some diseases associated with lifestyle factors. For instance, a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes may lead to a person developing the disease, but studies have shown that it may be prevented through proper diet and regular exercise. Regular workouts done to keep the body healthy and resist disease are general fitness oriented.

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Discuss this Article

ZsaZsa56
Post 2

There is a park by my house that has a trail around the outside with stations set up for performing various strength training exercises like pullups. I got into the habit of running around the trail a few times and then stopping at each one of the strength stations.

My general fitness improved almost immediately. I love doing it this way because it is so cheap and convenient. I don't have to pay for a gym membership or any special equipment. I just throw on my running shoes and head for the park. I have noticed these kinds of setups in a lot of parks. Anyone looking to improve their general fitness should head down to their local park and see what it has to offer.

chivebasil
Post 1

I'm glad this article mentioned swimming as a strategy for gaining general fitness, because there are few activities which work then entire body as well as swimming does.

Swimming is so effective because the water creates resistance to your movements which means that you get both a cardiovascular workout and a strength workout at the same time. The entire body is engaged and there are a broad range of movements which utilize every muscle group.

Swimming is also great because it does not stress the joints and can be a practical form of exercise for people with injures. I have been swimming regularly for a few years now and my general fitness has never been better.

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