When you get older things starts to happen...
Alcohol has an increasingly negative effect on work the next day. Hair falls out of the places is should be and grows from the places it shouldn't.
Exercise becomes just as much about FEELING good instead of just LOOKING good (which always used to be the goal).
There are 5 key aspects of fitness you must train to cover all of your bases to reach that 'feeling' of being fit. Being competent in each will allow you to stay healthier, be happier and, most of all, live longer.
"The ability to contract your muscles against a resistance"
Strength is arguably the most important aspect of fitness mainly because it affects every ADL (activities of daily living) in your life. It creates a buffer of efficiency and safety to go about your day. Training for increased strength can be seen as 'functional training' due to how it impacts these everyday activities.
There comes a time when the benefits of getting any stronger flatten out, and that's when you should really be focussing on maintaining what you have and creating balance through the other important aspects.
"Being able to express your strength in the shortest amount of time"
The ability to contract your muscles fast can be just as important as strength in some situations. When you trip, what happens? Your front leg has to accelerate forward into a position to catch your body. If it doesn't get there in time, you fall.
When is comes to the elderly, power is one of the major performance variables associated with independence, fall prevention and rehabilitation after injury. And, as you age power decreases at a much faster rate than strength or cardiorespiratory endurance.
I'm not saying you're old enough to worry about that stuff, but knowing how important power is in life it may be a good idea to start training it now.
"The range of limb movement around your joints"
The range of motion around certain joints is a big predictor of injury risk. Maintaining healthy joint movements, as well as proper muscle tissue health (reducing
muscular tension), will ensure you always feel mobile, supple and ache free.
"Being able to maintain elevated heart and lung rates of work for long periods of time"
Physiologically, it is the ability of your heart and lungs to continue to pump oxygen-rich blood through your body during extended periods of exercise.
Realistically, the healthier your heart and lungs are, the better. Higher levels of cardiorespiratory endurance during exercise means less stress is placed on the heart and lungs at rest - allowing you to reduce heart and lung related illness.
"The ability to repeatedly execute a sequence of movements smoothly and accurately"
Everything you do requires you to coordinate your limbs (through senses and muscle contractions) to achieve a successful outcome. You can think of coordination as your ability to express any of the other above 4 aspects.
Under the umbrella of coordination comes:
You can look at these 5 physical components as markers of true fitness and base your level of preparedness on how you score in these 5 areas. Any exercise program that neglects one of these areas is leaving a gap in your training.
You are only as strong as your weakest link. Don't let that weak link be the thing that causes the chain to break.
Avoid any weak chains by checking out the coaching options available. It covers a well-rounded approach to fitness and nutrition, specifically to suit your needs.