Are You Really Fit?
You step into a gym, and you’ll see the buzz. People pumping large amounts of weight. People running on treadmills. And you think to yourself, these people are a fit bunch. Are they really fit? More importantly are you really fit?
How Do You Know?
Being fit does not mean that you can run a marathon or can bench your body weight. Those accomplishments are components of the total fitness picture. Here are the five pieces that your fitness regimen include:
- Aerobic Endurance. Aerobic endurance measures your ability to do moderately strenuous activity over a period of time.This fitness component is also called aerobic or cardio fitness. It’s a measurement of how efficiently your heart and lungs work together to supply oxygen to your body during exertion and exercise. Although running is the go to method for most people to achieve aerobic endurance, there are several other activities that fit the bill, such as circuit training, jump roping, cycling, and aerobics classes. Check out this fitness calculator to see what your favorite aerobic activity does to your body.
- Muscular Endurance. Muscular Endurance measures your fitness level by your ability to hold a particular position for a sustained period of time or repeat a movement many times. The 100 pull-up ladder challenge is a muscle endurance workout example. Adding short sprints is another good example of a muscle endurance workout.
- Muscular Strength. Maximum strength is the ability to exert maximum force in a particular activity, e.g., benching 200% your body weight one time. Without building your strength, trying to do this 1-rep max bench example may end up doing you more harm than good. Are you curious what your one-rep max target should be for each of your weight training? Enter your numbers in this calculator to find out.
- Flexibility. Flexibility fitness measures the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion or the elasticity of the muscle, i.e., how limber you are. Being able to touch your toes is great (as long as you don’t bounce) start, but don’t stop there. Flexibility training is useful to improve range of motion in every sport and can be helpful in improving overall performance. If you’re not a big stretcher, incorporate yoga into your fitness routine to not work on your flexibility but your muscular strength as well.
- Body Composition. This fitness area measures the proportion of fat in your body as compared to your bone and muscle, i.e., your body fat. It does not refer to your weight in pounds or your shape. Don’t be too obsessed over you body fat levels. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple way to tell if you’re on track or not.
Master and Conquer
Master each of these components for all areas of the body – upper, lower, full – to be really fit. You don’t want to be that guy in the gym with a huge muscular chest with chicken legs, or that guy who can run all day long but can’t do a pushup to save his life. Stretching, aerobic activity, and strength training are all important to your overall fitness level. Eating well will also contribute to your overall fitness level.
Then you can answer, “Yes, I am really fit!.”