Fitness is a broad term and can mean different things. By definition, being “fit” is the quality of being suitable for a particular task. You can be physically, mentally or even emotionally fit to do something. However, I am going to assume that you are referring to the ability of being physically fit in your question.
Being physically fit is the ability to handle the physical challenges placed in front of you. This can mean different things to different people. For a marathon runner, being physically fit is the ability to run a full marathon with relative ease and without placing a lot of physical strain on your body. For a construction worker, physical fitness is to the ability to handle the task of lifting heavy objects everyday. But ask the construction worker to run a full marathon or the marathon runner to work with a heavy hammer all day, and both of them will possibly be not up to the task. This does not mean that they are unfit. Both of them are quite “fit” to do their own tasks.
Wanting to stay fit is an amazing goal to strive towards. However, I urge you to probe a bit further and ask the question, “staying fit to do what?”
If you are a professional athlete and wish to stay fit for your particular sport, I suggest you to get a trained physical coach.
However, if you are a non-professional like me who does a regular day job/business and just wants to stay fit to do tasks like climbing stairs, lifting groceries/travel bags, play recreational sports, go hiking etc., the goal of staying fit becomes much more straightforward:
- If you expect to deal with heavy weights in your daily tasks, such as lifting carrying and bags, shifting furniture etc. you need to do some form of strength training to ensure that you don’t exhaust or injure yourself. Focus more on movements you might need regularly such as presses, pull ups, rows, deadlifts, squats etc.
- If you expect to walk long distances or climb stairs regularly, you need to do some form of cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, interval training to boost your stamina and agility. Regular cardiovascular training will also help if you wish to enjoy some recreational activities such as playing sports, hiking or even playing with your kids.
- To get the energy to do any of the tasks mentioned above, you need to have a diet that contains the necessary nutrients. The less processed the food, the better.
Getting fit and staying fit is quite straightforward and simple. Its not easy though. To be fit to do some task, you need to do that task regularly. Our bodies are amazingly adaptive. Follow a fitness regime for a year and you will probably reach your fitness goal. Drop the regime for the next 6 months, and you will be back to where you started.
The key is to focus more on consistency and less on intensity. I can give you a detailed hour-by-hour daily fitness schedule that I follow. But if following my schedule requires you to completely overhaul your life, I doubt the schedule will help you get the consistency. Choose a plan that you can follow consistently for a long time, preferably the rest of your life.