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Getting Intellectual about Health and Fitness

We all want to be healthy and fit, but when it comes to making it happen, we tend to think in rather abstract terms. Eat right. Exercise. But it's time to get more specific. The more you understand about how your body operates, the more power you will have.

Getting Intellectual about Health and Fitness

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When we consider what it takes to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle, we tend to think in relatively abstract terms. Exercise. A balanced diet. We recognize some of the ingredients necessary to implement good nutrition and fitness into our lives–whole grains, fruits, vegetables, cardiovascular activity, weight training, and so on.

But most of us don’t have the in-depth understanding that can be so beneficial when it comes to taking control of our own health and well-being. By developing a more complete knowledge of anatomy, you can develop a more informed approach to exercise and illness alike. So let’s get you on the right track.

First off, it’s important to have a basic inventory of the muscles covering our muscles and the functions they serve. The Latissimus dorsi is the largest singular muscle in the body and encompasses most (but not all) of the back. It is heavily responsible for the movement of the upper arms and shoulder blades. It also overlaps with the trapezius–the triangular muscle supporting neck and shoulders.

How does it help you to know about the “Lats,” as it is often called? Well, this bunch of muscular fibers is very important to the overall support of your spine, torso, neck, and head, so your form in weight training should always be proper. Injury can cause severe problems, so if you aren’t sure how to approach pull-ups or rowing, enlist a personal trainer to instruct you.

Recognizing smaller, lesser known muscles can be the key to proper toning. Many of us know about our “glutes”–the Gluteus maximus muscles that make up the bulk of our butts–but when you’re trying to reduce fat in the “saddlebag” area, you shouldn’t neglect the Gluteus minimus, Gluteus medius, Erector spinae, and hip adductor.

What can help you keep track of all these details? Keeping an illustrated anatomy guide will not only help you identify which muscle groups to target more comprehensively during your workout, it can also point you in the right direction as to which exercises will get the job done.

Recognizing how your body operates can assist you in other aspects of your health, too. You might not be a medical expert, but being better equipped to communicate with physicians when you’ve experienced an injury or chronic pain. Unfortunately, many physicians today assume that patients will be ignorant about their bodies’ condition and will therefore be dismissive of health complaints. That is why knowledge truly is power!

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