We work hard to be more healthy and fit, we exercise regularly and eat right, but are we truly fit? There are several components of fitness and training should include:
- Agility – Train for balance and agility, equilibrium and the ability to change direction rapidly without falling down. These skills are essential for safety and movement and decline as we age if we do not train for them.
- Coordination – Train to use many body parts and muscle groups smoothly and at the same time to complete a task. Walking, running and climbing stairs requires coordination in the same way that driving a car requires hand-eye coordination. Hit a ball, throw and catch or learn to juggle.
- Strength and Power– Strength involves lifting, pushing or pulling as a part of your daily activities and without injury. Power involves using that strength quickly and efficiently.
- Endurance – Endurance describes how long you can continue to perform a task or activity. Important when climbing stairs or walking or exercising for an extended period. Muscular endurance determines how long you can run, swim, bike or perform any exercise.
- Flexibility – Flexibility is your ability to move through a healthy and complete range of motion. You should be able to “bend without breaking” or straining. Flexibility is often neglected and should be trained and improved.
Health and fitness involves living in a body that is reliable, capable and functional. Through functional fitness we are able to get out of a chair unassisted, walk without falling, climb stairs without pain or shortness of breath or push your shopping cart through the grocery store. Exercise and proper training will improve or maintain all of these functional fitness components as we age.
Physical fitness is an integral part of health and wellness.
Health is more than the absence of illness, disability or disease. Health is “the state of being sound in body, mind and spirit” according to Merriam-Webster. Wellness includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Wellness is also the process of making choices and understanding the consequences of these choices and making healthy decisions. Through fitness, health, and wellness we learn to make healthier choices and lead healthier and happier lives.
Wellness also includes creating new “healthy” habits and eliminating those unhealthy habits. Smoking, eating junk food and avoiding exercise don’t promote fitness, health or a long and healthy life. Unhealthy choices and bad habits lead instead to chronic disease like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Make an effort to eat right and exercise to stay fit, healthy and well!