The 5 Pillars of Fitness

Today’s blog post features everything you need to know to stay focused incorporating the five pillars of fitness into your healthy lifestyle.   Tweet This! Let’s take a look:

1) STRENGTH.

  • The use of weights, machines or body weight to create resistance for exercising and training muscle and stimulating muscle growth.   Tweet This!
  • Strength training will help you with mobility, stability, metabolism and body composition.
  • Starting out, choose an exercise at a weight level high enough to tire your muscles after about 12-15 repetitions. Try starting with 20- to 30-minute strength training sessions two to three times per week to gain strength. As your strength increases you will be able to increase weight, repetitions and sets.

2) ENDURANCE.

  • The ability of a muscle or group of muscles to repeatedly exert resistance for an extended period of time is called muscle endurance. Jogging, cycling, brisk walking, hiking and climbing are examples of endurance exercise activities.
  • Endurance training has cardiovascular health, weight management, body composition, mood and sleep benefits.   Tweet This!
  • Steadily increasing mileage and speed over time is an effective way to train endurance. Proper diet, rest and hydration are key to avoiding injury as the intensity of your training increases.   Tweet This!

3) MOBILITY.

  • Related to flexibility, training mobility can improve the range-of-motion of your muscles and the joints they control.
  • Strengthening the muscles that control and stabilize your joints will increase your range-of-motion to allow for better exercise.   Tweet This! Improving mobility will help you to get stronger and prevent injury.
  • Body weight exercises like walking lunges, myofascial work like foam-rolling muscles, yoga and controlled dynamic stretching are all ways to increase your mobility. Mobility drills and exercises can be incorporated into warm-ups and active rest during exercise.

4) BODY COMPOSITION.

  • Body composition is, essentially, what the body is made of – water, protein, minerals and fat. In the fitness spectrum, body composition refers to the percentage of your body weight that is comprised of fat compared to lean mass. Looking at body composition goes beyond a number on a scale, and tells you the actual source of that weight.   Tweet This!
  • Understanding your body composition can help you understand your health. Even if your weight falls into a healthy range for your height, a high body fat percentage can bring adverse consequences for your health. Having a healthy body composition means that the majority of your weight is coming from lean body mass, including muscle tissue.
  • If the result of your exercise regimen and healthy diet is two pounds of fat loss with two pounds of muscle gain, you have made a healthy change to your body composition (although maybe not a change to the scale). Use body circumference measurements, before/after pictures or more advanced methods to capture an accurate picture of your body composition.

5) LIFESTYLE.

  • An overall healthy and fit lifestyle not only involves training your body, but also fueling and resting it properly. Consistency is the key to success.   Tweet This! A regular exercise schedule, proper rest days, maintaining a healthy diet and getting proper sleep should be equally important aspects of your healthy lifestyle.
  • Sleep and rest, for example, are vitally important for proper recovery from exercise and training. Without rest and proper sleep, you make yourself more susceptible to injury, and have less efficient workouts. A poor diet makes it harder to improve body composition and can slow recovery time. Uncontrolled stress levels can also lead to higher body fat percentage over time.
  • Relaxation methods, scheduled rest days, meal prepping and self-discipline can help you to maintain consistency and efficiency in your fit/healthy lifestyle.   Tweet This!