Understanding Health and Physical Fitness
The pursuit of a healthier, longer, ailment free life is a goal or at least a vision most people share. In that regard when you look at health and fitness you can analyze a few areas within these categories that encompass this overreaching goal. Within physical fitness you have “generally” 8 major categories:
8 General Categories of Fitness
• Cardiovascular endurance – This is the ability of your heart and lungs to work efficiently at a moderate intensity over a long period of time.
• Muscular endurance – This is the ability of your muscles to perform a particular exercise for a long period of time.
• Muscular strength – This is the ability of your muscles to lift a moderate to heavy amount of weight with control. Remember, muscular strength will decrease with age unless the muscles are exercised regularly and efficiently.
• Flexibility – This is the ability of your joints to move through a full range of motion and the ability of your muscles to relax, stretch and lengthen. Good flexibility is important to balance muscular strength and prevent stiffness and soreness
• Balance – This is the ability to control the body’s position either stationary or in motion
• Agility – This is the ability to perform a series of explosive power movements in rapid succession in opposing directions.
• Coordination. Coordination is the ability to integrate the above components with proper mechanics so that effective movement is achieved.
• Power – This is the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst movement.
3 General Categories of Health
There are multiple broad reaching definitions of “health” such as: “The state of being free from illness or injury,”or a state of complete mental, physical, and social well-being not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” For the sake of this blog we are going to focus on the physical aspects to keep it simple. So that being said, within the health category we can deduce 3 “general” areas of concern:
• Nutrition – This is the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.
• Sleep – Sleep in this regard is when your body is in a state of minimal functional and metabolic activity, in addition to the time when muscular repair / building is conducted.
• Supplementation – Supplementation is the application of an additional dietary ingredients to help ensure all aspects of nutrition are adequately supplied including micro, macro and non-vitamin, non-mineral essentials.
These are obviously not all encompassing and you can break these down further, as well as find additional categories to supplement the foundation within a health and fitness lifestyle. However I would venture to say these areas make up more than 80% of the results you’re going to achieve in this pursuit, so focusing your efforts on these areas will yield the most bang for your buck.
Get a routine and create a lifestyle!
That being said the question arises to whether or not your current program or application covers the majority of these 11 core areas. If you are the type that finds yourself labeled as something like a “runner, power lifter, bodybuilder, yogi, boot camp attender etc.…”then you are missing out on one or more of these core components. There is nothing wrong with going to the gym and throwing around some weight, or enjoying a 5k – 10k jog. However those exercises in and of themselves are just one or two areas out of half a dozen or more that you should be focusing on. Even group based training like boot camps, and HIIT sessions, Yoga, Zumba, CrossFit etc., fail to ensure you are tackling your goal from every angle. In the pursuit of health and fitness the name of the game is “sustainability”, so by ensuring your program hits every one of these components you won’t lose out when you take a vacation and can’t go to your group class, or take a week off from your meticulous diet regiment, or suffer an injury in the gym that prevents you from lifting.
Each one of these activities has a place in a proper program regiment and is no greater than any other component individually, together they offer the ability to create “your best self yet.” That being said, if you had only one area in which you could focus your efforts and that you could devote 100% to, that would undoubtedly be nutrition. There’s a saying that states “80% nutrition and 20% exercise”. While the ratio may not be totally accurate, the point is that nutrition alone is an overwhelming majority of the equation.
So in short, evaluate your current progress and where you are in regard to achieving your goals, if you find yourself coming up short, take a look at the list above and see what areas you may need to devote additional attention too. After all its your body, and it’s the only one you got..