The 5 Health Related Components of Fitness

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was a good mix of relaxing and doing some fun stuff. Once I got home from work on Friday I spent the night doing laundry and watching TV. I only have 2 more episodes of Westworld to go. Saturday I took my boyfriend to the local Italian store (he’d never been) and we picked up a few delicious things. We then went back to his place for dinner (homemade pizza) and we watched the Fellowship of the Ring. Sunday morning I did some grocery shopping and then I met up with a few friends to see Hidden Figures. I was expecting a feel good movie which was exactly what I got.

Now that it’s Monday morning I’m looking forward to the week ahead. I’m really enjoying all my classes this semester which is pretty exciting. We’re having some great conversations in my special populations class.

Today I thought I’d talk a bit about the 5 health related components of fitness. Fitness can’t be measured by just one metric – it’s too multi faceted. Instead there’s 5 different categories, each of which have several different measurements. Taking a broader approach to fitness – looking at the big picture – is key when relating it back to your health.

The 5 Health Related Components of Fitness

Cardiorespiratory endurance // The first component of fitness is cardiorespiratory endurance, which is all about how well your heart and lungs work. It’s improved for the most part by aerobic activity – running, cycling, any kind of cardiovascular workout. Improving your cardiorespiratory endurance can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiorespiratory endurance can be measured in a variety of ways, including Vo2 max testing, taking your heart rate during workouts and comparing them over time, Cooper run testing, or cycle ergometer testing. There are lots more out there, but those are just a few.

Muscular endurance // Muscular endurance in all about being able to lift things over and over again. To train this category the percentage of your 1 rep maximum (1RM) comes down to <67%, and your reps are about 8 to 12, with 2 to 3 sets. Rest time between sets is <30 seconds. Muscular endurance relates back to real life a lot, for example carrying groceries across the parking lot to your car, lifting your baby up all day, or even being at work if you have a physically active job. This can be measured by recording the exercises, weight, and reps for certain exercises and comparing them over time.

Muscular strength // This category is about getting stronger. Muscular strength is trained when the 1RM is >85%, <6 reps, 2 to 6 sets, and rest time between sets of 2 to 5 minutes. In other words, you have to lift heavy to be able to increase your strength. Being stronger also helps to do activities of daily living. As with muscular endurance, this can be measured over time by recording your exercises and weights lifted.

Flexibility // As important as it is to be strong, flexibility is also needed. It keeps you moving properly. Flexibility is defined as movement around a joint. Having high flexibility means that you have a lot of movement, while low flexibility means that your range of motion isn’t what it should be. Different joints can be more flexible than others, and they can even be different between the left and right sides of the body. For example, my shoulders are pretty flexible, while my hips aren’t, and my left hip is tighter than my right hip. It might be tempting to leave the gym a few minutes early and skip the flexibility part of your workout, but working on your flexibility is essential.

Body composition // Basically body composition describes how your body is made up. There are some measurements that compare lean body mass (bones, muscles) with fat, while others compare weight and height. There’s not one perfect test for measuring this, so it’s smart to use several to get a good overall idea of your body composition. Testing can include weight on a scale, waist to hip ratio, body mass index, skin fold testing, or hydrostatic (underwater) weighing.

Does your fitness routine take into account all 5 health related components of fitness? Which one is your strongest? Weakest? 

90’s Dance Workout Playlist

Good morning and happy Friday! I can’t be the only one who’s glad that it’s the end of the week. It’s been a long and busy week for me, so I’m looking forward to a weekend with only one thing planned – a movie night with some friends. The plan is to go see Hidden Figures, which looks good. Octavia Spencer is a favorite actress of mine, so I’m glad we decided on that movie. Plus time with my friends is always fun, no matter what we’re doing, so I’m excited to be able to hang out with them.

Today I’m sharing my newest playlist. This time it’s a 90’s dance one. I’m a child of the 80’s, so by the time I was 11 or 12 years old and just starting to figure out what kind of music I liked, the 90’s dance craze was in full swing. I think just about any Canadian would remember the Much Dance Mix tapes that came out every year. My favorite was definitely ’95, though I had a few of them and listened to them non stop. I thought it would be fun to revisit some of that music and create a whole playlist with some classic ’90’s dance songs.

90's Dance Workout Playlist

I think Saturday Night was my absolute favorite song from Dance Mix ’95. I remember listening to it and imagining getting ready to go out on a date. I’d never been on a date, but I remember picking out the exact outfit I would wear.

I couldn’t not add Good Vibrations. I remember thinking the music video was unbelievably cool, but looking back at it now, it just looks cheesy. It’s worth watching just to see Mark Wahlberg lifting the barbell with the cinder blocks on the end of it instead of plates. There’s also the dancing in the puddle of the abandoned building that’s also pretty funny.

It wouldn’t be a ’90’s playlist without some Vanilla Ice. I think his album was one of the very first ones that I bought. On the car ride home from the store I couldn’t wait to get home so that I could listen to it, because back then the only thing you could listen to in the car was the radio.

To check out the rest of my workout playlists, click here.

What’s your favorite ’90’s dance songs? Have any exciting plans for the weekend?

Day in the Life January 11 2017

Since it’s been a few months, I thought I’d share another Day In The Life post. This semester is shaping up to be a busy one, so I’m enjoying the lull now before readings, assignments, and midterms start coming at me from all directions. I’m recapping Monday.

I had an interview downtown bright an early at 9 am, so I was up early to get ready for it. After getting dressed, eating breakfast (cereal, Greek yogurt, and an orange), and printing out my resume I checked the traffic (it was pretty bad because we got of snow overnight), so I decided to leave extra early to make sure I got there on time.

Day in the Life January 11 2017

I’ve very thankful I left an hour and a half before I had to be there, because I just barely made it. The roads were worse than I was expecting and it was bumper to bumper all the way downtown. Usually it only takes me 35 minutes, so the road conditions were pretty bad. I think the interview went well and I’ll hear back from this sometime this week. The drive back home wasn’t nearly as bad, but the traffic heading downtown was still majorly backed up.

Day in the Life January 11 2017

By the time I got home I started making lunch. I roasted up some broccoli and sweet potatoes to go with some homemade chicken tenders. The veggies were pretty simple, I just added some olive oil and cayenne pepper spice to them and then popped them in the oven for about 20 minutes. The chicken tenders ended up taking longer than I was expecting to make, so I didn’t get any reading done that I was hoping to sneak in.

Once I ate and cleaned up from lunch it was time to head out to school for my one and only class of the day. It’s a Special Populations class so we talk a lot about people with disabilities. It’s a really interesting class so far with lots of class discussions which are always interesting. We picked topics to do presentations on, so I went with hearing impairments.

I then headed back home once class was over. I decided to get started researching hearing impairments and exercise, so I got on the library website and started looking. There’s lots of stuff out there on kids and older adults but not a lot on adults, which was kind of disappointing.

Day in the Life January 11 2017

I was starting to get hungry so I made dinner – a Thai chicken curry and rice soup and a piece of toasted multi grain bread. I picked the bread up at the farmer’s market over the weekend. Once dinner was done I printed out the journal articles I’d found earlier for my hearing impairment presentation and got started reading them. I was very grateful that they ended up being on the shorter side, because journal articles can be a little dry.

I took a break to watch Teen Mom, a huge guilty pleasure of mine. I keep telling myself I’m not going to watch anymore, but then I see previews for the new season and I can’t stay away. Once the show was over my Fitbit told me to start getting ready for bed, so that’s exactly what I did. It was an early start to the day, so by the time I got into bed I realized how tired I was. I read The Secret Keeper for about 10 minutes before turning off the light.

Upper Body and Cardio Workout

Today I thought I’d share another workout. This one includes both the upper body and cardio together in one workout – perfect for when you’re short on time. All you need is a bike, a pair of dumbbells, and a bench or chair for the tricep dips.

Upper Body and Cardio Workout

For the bike sections, aim for a pace that’s challenging but will allow you to still complete the workout. Think of it as an active recovery for your arms. You want to give your arms a break between supersets while still keeping your heart rate high.

Each of the strength moves are paired into supersets. Complete each superset twice before getting back onto the bike. Make sure you take rests as needed. You want to make sure you do every move with good form.

Push ups // Starting on your toes and hands, make sure your body is a straight line from your heels to your knees, hips, shoulders, and neck. Your hands should be a bit wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend at the elbows, lowering yourself to the ground. Try to get at low as possible, and then push yourself back up, all the while maintaining that straight line. An easier modification is instead of being on your toes, lower to your knees.

Tricep dips // Using a chair or bench, place hands on the edge with fingers pointing towards the back while stepping out your feet so that they’re hip width apart and your hips are above the floor. Slowly bend at the elbows to lower yourself and then use your triceps to move yourself back up to the starting position. Your knees can be bent (easier) or left straight (harder).

Bicep curls // Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.

Bent over rows // With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing each other) bend forward slightly at the hips so that your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, letting your arms hang straight down and keeping your back in a neutral position. Bring both dumbbells up towards your armpits while contracting your shoulder blades towards each other (kind of like pinching your shoulder blades together). Move dumbbells back towards starting position.

Tricep kickbacks // With a dumbbell in each hand, flex at the ankles, knees, and hips so that your torso is leaning forward slightly. Bring your arms close to your body with your elbows back slightly. Start with your forearm in a 90 degree angle to your upper arm and slowly extend your forearm until your  entire arm is straight and your triceps muscles are contracted. Slowly reverse the movement so that your arm is once again at a 90 degree angle.

Lateral raises // With your arms down at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand, slowly raise your hands away from your body to the side, keeping your arm straight at the elbow. Once your hands reach shoulder level, slowly lower them back down to your sides.

You can find all my workouts here.

As always, check with a doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed. 

What’s your favorite kind of workout? Strength? Cardio? Intervals?

Weekly Workouts January 1 to 7 2017

Weekly Workouts

I hope everyone had a good week getting back into the usual routine. I’m actually kind of happy to be back to normal schedule again now that classes have started back up again.

Sunday // Rest day.

Weekly Workouts January 1 to 7 2017

Monday // I started off the week with a workout from Jessica Smith on YouTube. It was a 20 minute interval cardio and strength workout. It was perfect because the intervals were short and kept me interested so that I didn’t get bored. I’ve really been enjoying her workouts lately. It’s nice to be able to do them from home with a minimal amount of equipment.

Tuesday // Rest day.

Weekly Workouts January 1 to 7 2017

Wednesday // I ended up doing a cardio workout from Fitness Blender, also on YouTube. I always hear about them online, but surprisingly this was the first time I’ve tried a Fitness Blender workout. Once again the intervals were short enough to keep me interested and the time flew by. I was a sweaty mess by the time I was done.

Thursday // I wasn’t feeling like doing a proper workout so I went for a walk instead after classes. It was kind of nice being outside despite all the snow and cold temperatures. Plus being able to get moving after sitting in classes was also kind of nice.

Friday // After working and then getting a bunch of errands done I wasn’t feeling up for a workout, so it ended up being another rest day.

Saturday // Today I’m planning on going to my favorite park by the river for a walk. It snowed yesterday so it should be extra pretty. There’s a few big hills that I’m planning on tackling, so I’m, sure I’ll be breathing hard by the time I get to the tops of them. I’m planning on bundling up though because it’s supposed to still be cold this afternoon.

What was your favorite workout this week? Any favorite fitness channels on YouTube?