When we talk about fitness, we have a tendency to use the word as a catch-all. Just fitness. While that’s useful – and we can all generally agree on the difference between being fit and not being so – it’s also a little too vague for anyone who is serious about getting their body into shape. If you want to get a beach body and then sustain it, you need to dig a little deeper into fitness.
While fitness can be broken down into many different sections if you wish to be pedantic about it, the main focus should be on three distinct areas. If you want to achieve the most from your routine and get yourself feeling as good as possible, then you need to be able to tick the boxes for all three of them.
Fitness Category #1: Endurance
Endurance is the cardio fitness that most of us focus on. It’s what makes us able to stay on the treadmill for longer, pedal up another hill, or do anything for a sustained length of time.
Endurance is important, but it’s also probably the most problematic. It takes a long time, more so than any of the other categories. It’s about doing a little bit at a time, on a daily basis, which you can then increase. Over time, it all builds up.
You should always aim to push yourself further to work on your endurance. If you usually just run for 20 minutes or do 100 laps, that’s not pushing your endurance. Week by week, you need to increase: 22 minutes, 102 laps – onwards and upwards is the ongoing trend.
Fitness Category #2: Strength
Most of us associate the idea of strength training and muscle building with the idea of becoming “ripped” – and that’s not everyone’s goal when it comes to exercise. However, getting good muscle tone is not just about the aesthetic indulgence – it’s also a form of fitness in and of itself.
You don’t need to be looking to build muscles to the point of bulging, but a good core strength will help your endurance and keep you as healthy as possible. Get into the habit of doing weights work a couple of times per week, supplementing your efforts with the likes of FitnessDeadline.com to make the most of it. Over time, you’ll feel the effects of this improvement – and you might look better too!
Fitness Category #3: Suppleness
The idea of suppleness being a factor in fitness is a relatively new one, but as we understand more and more about how the body works, it becomes more important. Endurance and strength are necessary for general life and movement, to help keep you comfortable throughout your life – but suppleness is something you have to add in there.
The simple fact is that we lose our natural, in-built suppleness throughout our life. It’s one of the major causes of disability in old age. However, if you nip it in the bud early and keep yourself as supple as possible, then you’re more likely to actually be able to enjoy your retirement.
Yoga and pilates are the standard when it comes to increasing your ability to flex and be supple. Start gently with videos from YouTube.com even if you are otherwise physically fit – if you’ve never done it before, you might be surprised at just how demanding it can be!
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.