What do you understand “fitness” to be?
For most of us, we think of “fitness” as aerobic exercise. You’re fit if you’re able to climb several flights of stairs without pause; if you can run around after your children without getting out of breath. This is the kind of fitness that most people mean when they talk about wanting to get fit– you might have even done this yourself. That’s why it may be a surprise to learn that there are actually four different types of fitness. If you truly want to be “fit”, then you have to learn to balance all four areas. If you don’t, you could find yourself technically fit in one area, but deficient in the others– meaning that, at best, you’re only 25 percent as fit as you should be. In an effort to get up to the full 100 percent, you’re going to need to ensure you’re making time for each of the four key areas of fitness…
Muscle Strength and Endurance
The “endurance” part of this is an area that many people miss out on. It’s one thing to be strong, but ideally, you want to be able to be strong for a long period of time. That means increasing repetitions on the weights that you use, as well as gradually increasing the weight you’re lifting over time. If you’re new to muscle conditioning, then there’s a couple of things you’ll need to know:
- The foods you eat have a huge impact on your endurance and ability to grow muscle, so examine your diet before you begin a regime.
- You don’t have to use steroids to bulk up; products such as Protodioscin have all the benefits without any of the serious side effects. Gaining muscle and endurance takes time; use products that will help in the effort, but you never need to resort to steroids.
This is the “fitness” that everyone thinks of as being the definition of fitness; your ability to be physically active for long periods of time. Cardiovascular fitness is achieved when your heart is beating faster than its resting rate. There are multiple ways to achieve this. Gentle exercise, such as swimming or walking, will raise your heartbeat moderately and improve your fitness. If you want more of the benefits of cardiovascular fitness, you will need to introduce running or cycling into your regime.
Anaerobic fitness is little-known, but it’s an important part of the overall pictures. Anaerobic fitness is your ability to start and stop when exercising, rather than focusing on duration the way cardiovascular fitness does. Anaerobic fitness burns more calories than aerobic exercise, which is an important note if you’re trying to lose weight. Sport is by far the best way of achieving anaerobic fitness. Sports such as tennis or sprinting are excellent ways to improve anaerobic fitness, though it’s a good idea to have a baseline of aerobic fitness before attempting these.
Yes, suppleness and flexibility are a way of measuring fitness– essentially by strengthening how your muscles are able to cope with extreme demands. Make room in your workout regime for a yoga or pilates class to ensure you’re meeting the flexibility quote of your fitness. If there’s an area above that you need to work on, then add it into your regime– you’ll soon feel the extra benefit of being focused on 100 percent of your fitness needs.