As many of us know, exercise is vital to living a healthy life. However, it can be difficult to figure out how to get started with an exercise routine that meets the needs of your body and your personal preferences. Luckily for you, we have put together what are the 5 components of fitness that all well-rounded fitness programs should include!
5 components of fitness:
1. Aerobic Exercise
First and foremost, aerobic exercise is one of the 5 components of fitness. Aerobic activity increases your heart rate and is usually what we think of when we hear the word “exercise.” This is important because it improves cardiovascular health, which in turn decreases the chance of heart disease or a heart attack. Aerobic exercise is important to include in your fitness routine because it helps to reduce “bad” cholesterol and increase “good” cholesterol.
2. Strength Training
Strength training is second of the 5 components of physical fitness, because it builds muscle strength and tones the body. Strength training is extremely beneficial because it increases bone density which decreases the risk of osteoporosis. It also gives your muscles a firmer appearance, which improves body image and self-esteem. Strength training helps to decrease the risk of injury in everyday life, increases energy levels both short term (after lifting) and long term (increased muscle mass), decreases chances of obesity, reduces blood pressure, improves mental health through releasing endorphins- naturally occurring chemicals that fight depression and make you feel happy!
Stretching is an important component of any physical fitness program because it keeps muscles limber and healthy. Regularly practicing stretching can prevent pulled muscles during strength exercise. It also prevents future injuries when you are engaging in strength activity. Because it improves flexibility, stretching can help when trying to accomplish daily tasks that may be difficult for someone with inflexible muscles. Regularly practicing stretching also increases blood flow, which aids in recovery time after strength exercise. Most importantly, regular stretching helps to prevent injury during strength exercise by warming up the body and helping prepare the joints for strength movement.
4. Relaxation/Rest Time
All work and no play would make us all very stressed out! Taking time to relax is important because it allows your mind and body to recharge- allowing them to perform at their best throughout the day. Think about it this way: if you do not take some time away from strength activity, stress will build up in your body until it gets to a point where you are too stressed out to do anything. Not only does this make for an unhealthy lifestyle, but also makes exercise less effective by making you irritable or lethargic. However, the opposite is true when you allow yourself some relaxation time- you will be happier and more energized after taking several minutes away from strength activity!
The last critical component of a well-rounded fitness program is variety. When starting an exercise routine, there may be many new things that you need to learn – so why not try them all? That way, if something isn’t fun or you don’t like it, at least give it another shot later on down the road. Variety will also help to keep your body challenged and prevent plateaus. Plateaus occur when the muscles get used to a certain workout and no longer have to work as hard, so they stop seeing results! The opposite is true for exercising with variety because you are challenging your muscles in new ways each time and preventing them from getting use to one type of strength activity so that you continue to see results!