Are you physically fit?
Many of us think that we are really fit, if we exercise regularly. Clearly, if you are exercising, keep up the good work! However, most of us neglect to consider all components of ‘exercise’.
- cardiorespiratory (aerobic) endurance exercise
- muscular strength exercise
- muscular endurance exercise
- flexibility exercise
1. Cardiorespiratory endurance exercise refers to the type of exercise that specifically focuses on improving the condition of the heart and the lungs. It is the type of exercise where you begin breathing harder, where your heart beats faster and where you begin sweating.
- Current guidelines: 3 – 5 times per week for 20 – 60 minutes
- Examples: biking, swimming, jogging, playing sports, aerobics, fast-paced walking, etc…
2. & 3. Muscular strength and endurance exercise refers to the types of exercises that focus specifically on strengthening the muscles and bones of the body. There are many different ways in which your muscles can be strengthened and you can choose a method of your preference.
- Current guidelines: 2 – 3 times per week addressing all major muscle groups from head to toe.
- Examples: free weights, machines, resistance bands, resistance balls, using one’s own body, and many more.
4. Flexibility exercises are the ones that are typically neglected or completely ignored. However, the benefits of this type of exercise are enormous. Stretching is a component of physical fitness that should be included in all of your workouts at the end of the session in order to really improve your flexibility.
- Current guidelines: ideally stretch 5 – 7 days per week addressing all major joints/muscle groups.
- Examples: static stretching using one’s own body
Now we can ask ourselves again: are we truly fit? Do we really address all components of physical fitness on a weekly basis? Remember, doing something is better than nothing, however, our ultimate goal should be ‘complete fitness’ so that our body can function to its fullest potential!