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.
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?