You think fitness is all about strength or endurance? Short answer––No. At the end of the day, total health isn’t just about muscular strength or the ability to run long distances. It’s about mastering all 5 elements of fitness. Fitness is an ongoing journey that encompasses all five of these aspects. It's essential to focus on every component of fitness, and health-related components of fitness. Neglect them and you can end up with:
- Muscles that can’t get enough oxygen
- Supporting muscle groups weaken, leading to the increased potential for injury
- Limited range of motion, leading to loss of power or increased risk of injury
- Over-developed muscles in some places––which ends up increasing the strain on your joints
What Are the 5 Components of Fitness?
It’s very important it is to focus on all five as you do your day-to-day workout routines and even your activities. Focusing on flexibility, for example, is something you can start doing the moment you wake up. It’s important to include a range of exercises that help build strength for each component. Keeping things dynamic is the only way to be sure to optimize your health and fitness at any level. The fitness components to make sure you tap all 5 elements of fitness can be achieved by anyone. Even daily. Just make sure you’re ticking all of these off:
1. Cardio Endurance
Cardio endurance is essential no matter what your fitness goals are. It is the measure of your performance during high-intensity exercises. This is how you can track your body’s ability to withstand and excel during moderate to high-intensity movements/exercises for an extended period of time. The only real way to achieve this element of fitness is to––you guessed it––stay on top of cardio workouts. The good news is that there are plenty of cardio workouts out there––perhaps more than you even realize. And you don’t have to do them everyday. 2-3 times a week can suffice for a well-balanced exercise plan.
- Makes it easier to carry out everyday tasks, like commuting on a bike, or climbing many flights of stairs with your groceries.
- Can help reduce your risk of certain diseases
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Improves oxygen delivery and overall functions of essential muscles
Examples of Cardio Exercises:
- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
- Stair climbs
2. Muscular Strength
Muscular strength is all about developing muscle groups to move and lift objects. the benefits of it. It comes down to how much raw force you can exert. Improving muscular strength is something that comes naturally out of every exercise you complete. Fitness can only be achieved through making sure your muscular strength continues to get better.
- More resistance to muscle fatigue
- Helps boost metabolism and reduce body fat percentage
- Can help improve mood and sleep quality
- Builds strong muscles, bones, and joints, which can help prevent long-term health issues
- Like chronic back pain
- Improved balance and stability
- Reduces your risk of injury
Examples of Muscular Strength Exercises:
- Tire moving
3. Muscular Endurance
Getting muscular endurance is all about how many reps your muscles can endure before reaching the point of fatigue/failure. You may not realize how little you get to even test your own muscular endurance because most people end up only doing what they are comfortable with during their workouts. However, if you don’t push the limits, you’ll never experience all the benefits muscular endurance workouts can offer as part of the 5 health components.
- Improved posture and stability
- Improved muscular aerobic capacity
- Improved ability to carry out everyday tasks
- i.e., hauling groceries inside
- Improved ability to perform in endurance-related sports and exercises
Examples of Muscular Endurance Exercises:
- Incorporate moderate resistance training with periods of rest in between can help you build strength and explosive power while doing exercises like:
4. Body Fat Composition
Body fat composition provides numerical insight into how much of your body is fat, rather than organ tissue, muscle and bone. Many use this as a clear indicator of whether or not you’re at a health weight (vs. BMI). Healthier body composition will be more muscle and less fat. This can also be a great way to track your weight loss goals, since only keeping tabs on your lbs is often deceiving.
- Improved energy
- Reduced risk of some diseases like:
- Heart failure
Examples of Exercises to target Body Fat Composition:
- Cardio training
- Strength training
Focus on Nutrition:
- Increase intake of metabolism-boosting foods and supplements that have MCT oil, or green tea extract
- Reduce consumption of processed, snack, and junk foods
- Reduce added sugar intake
- Increase protein intake
Flexibility, in this context, refers to the range of motion for your muscles and joints. This is one of the most important pillars of your health as you age. It can help prevent injury, keep your joints healthy and be the cornerstone of what will keep you active. Your muscles need to be continually stretched and pushed to improve your flexibility and prevent things like nagging back pain and headaches.
- Improved fitness level
- Easier to produce explosive power movements
- Reduced muscle fatigue
- Improved joint health
- Decreased risk of injury
- Reduced tightness and soreness
- Improved balance
Examples of Flexibility Exercises:
- Static stretching
- Dynamic stretching
Nutrition: You want to make sure you’re creating and maintaining healthy joints, ligaments, and muscles. Increasing your protein intake and adding in a collagen supplement will help your joints stay limber.
Support Your Commitment to the 5 Components of Fitness with Complete Nutrition
Some people assume that mastering one or two of the component is all it takes to reach peak fitness and health. But in reality, all five components play an essential role in keeping your body looking, feeling, and performing its best. There are five different components you must hit every week in order to experience their multiple benefits. No fitness routine would be complete without adequate, complete nutrition. Drinking greens powder, adding extra protein to your meals, and making sure you have the right collagen supplements are all ways to help your body achieve the 5 Components of Fitness with Complete Nutrition.