Everyone who heads to the gym regularly – even daily – isn’t fit. Like the lady bending into pretzel-like yoga poses. Or the power-lifter bench pressing 250 pounds. Even that guy on the elliptical machine 90 minutes a day. How can people in such great shape not be fit?
Ask any physical trainer, health professional or professional athlete. They’ll talk about three components to physical fitness. Being a pro at one or two doesn’t always mean you’re physically fit.
|Cardiovascular endurance: Your body’s ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues (via your heart, arteries, and blood vessels) for a sustained period of time. Good examples of “aerobic activity” are running or walking at a brisk pace, swimming laps without stopping, or taking a zumba class|
|Muscular strength and endurance: The ability of your skeletal muscles (muscles that move your arms, legs, torso, etc.) to exert force for a brief period – strength – and to sustain the force for an extended time – endurance. For example, it takes strength to lift a barbell off the ground and endurance to do 12 “reps.”|
|Flexibility: Being able to move your joints and muscles their full range of motion. Flexibility is important to avoid injury. Scratching your back is a good example of arm and shoulder flexibility.|
To be truly fit, the weight lifter needs to add aerobic activity and stretching to his routine. The yoga guru should add aerobic exercise. And the elliptical pro needs to add weight training and stretching to his fitness regimen. What about you? Work with a trainer or your doctor to take steps to get yourself physically fit.