For our purposes at NewLeanerYou.com, I want to take that a step further. I would suggest that for physical fitness and weight loss to be considered together there has to be another component...leanness. It is very possible to have a good level of cardiovascular fitness; enough to run a distance race (5K, 10K, half marathon, etc.) and still be over weight. If you are looking to lose weight, you have to focus on lean muscle in addition to getting in shape.
I will give you an example of what I am talking about. A few years ago, when I turned 50, I found that my weight started sneaking back upward along with my blood pressure. At first, I ignored it. However, I eventually looked for a way to bump up my metabolism to turn around the trend. I began running. Not being a gifted runner, I started slowly. After about 3 months, my training route stretched to a little over 2 miles. I could do it rather comfortably and decided to sign up for the 5K that the local running club sponsored on the 4th of July. I kept training and actually finished 5th (out of 22) in my age group. I thought I was pretty fit.
The mirror, however, told a different story. I didn't look any better nor did my clothes fit any better. Of course, I lowered my resting heart rate which is a good thing. It taught me that cardio needed to be part of my fitness program.
Because I replaced some of my weight training with running, I didn't lose any of the weight that I had put on. Not only that, but for a 51 year-old non-runner, my feet and knees started to remind me that this was not going to continue (in spite of the fact that I had excellent running shows and know how to tape things so they don't hurt).
I learned 4 lessons from this experience.
1. It is important to keep an elevated heart rate for extended periods to help burn fat, lose weight and achieve the leaner body I was looking for.
2. I had to make adjustments as my body aged.
3. Physical Fitness, for me, was more than just cardiovascular fitness. I wanted a total body improvement.
4. Regular stretching was important for pre-and post- workout flexibility as well as enhancing my ability to do the daily things that I wanted to do.
I think the people at BuiltLean.com really nailed it with respect to defining this topic. I encourage you to stop by their site and have a look. Couldn't have said it better myself!
When you come back, there will be plenty more pages for you to read. Keep on going. Persistence is key!!