How Fit Should You Be?
Heredity and health determine the top limits to which your physical capacity can be developed. This is known as your potential physical capacity. This potential capacity varies from individual to individual. Most of us for example could train for a lifetime and never come close to running a four-minute mile simply because we weren’t ‘built’ for it. The top level at which you can perform physically right now is called your ‘acquired capacity’ because it has been acquired or developed through physical activity in your daily routines.
Your body, like a car, functions most efficiently well below its acquired capacity. A car, for example, driven at its top speed of, say, 110 miles per hour uses more petrol per mile than when it is driven around 50-60 miles per hour, which is well below its capacity. Your body functions in the same way, in that the ratio of work performed to energy expended is better when it functions well below acquired capacity.
You can avoid wastage of energy by acquiring a level of physical capacity well above the level required to perform your normal daily tasks. This can be accomplished by supplementing your daily physical activity with a balanced exercise program performed regularly. Your capacity increases as you progressively increase the load on your muscular and organic systems. Exercise will increase physical endurance and stamina thus providing a greater reserve of energy for leisure-tine activities.
The Contribution of Sports and Other Activities to Basic Physical Efficiency.
Just as a balanced diet must be composed of a sufficient quantity of the proper kinds of foods to ensure that nutritional requirements are adequately met, so should a balanced physical activity program be composed of a sufficient quantity of the proper kind of physical activity so that all the important parts of the body are adequately exercised.
The parts of the body that require special attention are the muscles of the shoulders and arms, abdomen and back, legs, and the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
No single sport provides a truly balanced development for all parts of the body. This can only be acquired by regular participation in a number of carefully selected sports. Such participation, however, is not possible for the average person for a number of reasons – availability of play opportunity, time and expense. The most practical physical fitness scheme for most of us is participation in one or two sports supplemented by a balanced set of exercises. The 5BX program has been designed to bring physical fitness within the reach of any healthy man who is willing to devote eleven minutes a day to a simple but balanced set of exercises.