I’ve always thought the word “fit” is over used in the “fit”ness industry. I mean, what does being “fit” actually entail? If we take three different individuals:
A power lifters sporting discipline requires them to lift as heavy a weight as possible once. Competitors at the top of this sport are very strong, but put them on the running track and see how far they can run… not very! But does this mean that they are not fit?
A marathon runner can run long distances and maintain a constant speed over a long period of time, they are certainly aerobically capable but ask them to lift a weight. My guess is that the weight that they lift will not be that heavy… so… fit or unfit?
A housewife/husband may not participate in any form of organized exercise, however, they can spend their days cleaning, lifting, walking and generally being very active, but couldn’t survive a session in the gym.
Where would you place them on the fitness spectrum?
I don’t think that we can use the term “fit” as it doesn’t really exist, what we do mean though is “fit for purpose”. So if you compete as a power lifter, you will be fit and proficient to lift weights. If you are a footballer, you will be fit and proficient to run in short bursts and have good co-ordination.
What if you don’t participate in a sport but just want to be fit and healthy? Here are the four areas of fitness that I work with my general health clients.
You should be strong enough to bear your own body weight, whether it be working out with weights, resistance bands or your own body weight, you should be performing resistance training at least three times a week.
This with strengthen and define your muscles and increase bone density and joint stability.
Each time you exercise, you should engage in an all over body stretch, this will decrease the risk of injury and allow you to be more mobile.
This involves exercises such as running, cycling, swimming, rowing etc. depending on your fitness goals, the times and intensity varies but for general health, a 20 – 30 minute session should suffice, however as previously stated, this can change dramatically as your fitness goals change.
Not often thought about but total fitness to me is about getting the grey matter working as well. This would involve developing yourself through reading and learning, choosing the right company and relationships, setting fitness and non fitness based goals for yourself and achieving them.
Taking all four areas into account will form the basis of a fully healthy, well rounded and balanced individual.
Rich Lucas is a Personal Trainer, Martial Arts Instructor and Weight Management Consultant. Go to http://www.rl-personaltrainer.co.uk to download your free “better body challenge” ebook.
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