Being fit means different things to different people, but there are five components to fitness that we all need to be aware of and think about as we embark on this journey.
Body Composition – This is (usually) the driving force behind someone starting or continuing a fitness program, what their body looks like. The body is made up of lean muscle mass, bones, organs and fat. Weight, although commonly used as an indicator, is not the best way to measure health. Your distribution of lean mass and fat is a better way. Think of body builders will little body fat and huge muscles, but standard measurements would call them obese. We strive for a healthy balance of muscle and fat.
Cardiovascular endurance – This is probably the one aspect of being fit that most novice to working out will jump into, cardio requires the least equipment and expertise. These exercises include, walking, running, swimming, biking, jumping rope, rollerblading, hiking – you get the picture. Focusing on cardio is beneficial because it teaches the heart and lungs to work together to provide oxygen, blood, and fuel to the working muscles.
Muscular strength – This is the ability of your muscles to perform various activities. Think about someone who does not have the strength to pick up a suitcase, or open a jar. A pushup is an example of muscular strength.
Muscular endurance – This is the ability for those strong muscles to perform repetitions, think 20 push ups or a set of burpees without being winded or without being winded as quickly.
Flexibility – This is probably the most overlooked of all components. Flexibility has its own components; muscle elasticity and length, joint structure and nervous system. Essentially, it is your ability for your joints to move freely through range of motion.
It is important that your fitness plan takes into account all of the components of fitness. When starting or changing your fitness program, make sure you take into account all aspects of fitness so you focus on building a balanced, healthy body that will allow you to live your life to the fullest. If you have questions about how to get started – or what needs changed in your program – reach out to me, I will be happy to assist you.