“See my six pack dude. I’m sure no one in our friend circle can match this.”, said Gaurav. Gaurav likes to call himself a fitness freak. His day starts with protein supplements and gyming and ends with bragging about his body among his friends. When Gaurav said that none can match him, his friend Ayush threw him a challenge. “Gaurav, you always keep talking about fitness, gyming and body building. I’m pretty sure you will be able to complete my challenge. Can you sit in squat position and read a magazine for 15 minutes?”, he said.
“What are you talking about? Though I train myself daily, I have never tried this before. If you say, I can do 100 push-ups.”, Gaurav replied. For his friends, Gaurav was the fit hero with all his muscular biceps and six-pack abs. He thought when he looks well, he can take up any physical challenge.It was a disappointment for him when he tried to crouch down and his muscles couldn’t endure it. He gave up within 3 minutes and lost the challenge.
Gaurav’s situation is just where most of us are today. We talk about fitness, we strive for it but most often don’t know what it is. While you make an exercise routine and plan your diet to be ‘fit’, you must first know what fitness is. Is it only your outward look or it means more?
Fitness is not just a single parameter; it can only be defined in a holistic sense. All these parameters are hooked around each other and around the idea of being ‘fit’. These are the 5 facets of fitness. All these 5 facets of fitness should be in a perfect coordination to deem a person as fit.
- Cardiovascular Endurance
The ability of our lungs to transport oxygenated blood to the heart and our heart’s ability to supply it to our hard-working skeletal muscles is our cardiovascular endurance. The heart should be able to pump blood for an extended length of time without fatigue.
- Muscle Endurance
Any person can run at his maximum speed for 5 mins. But, only a fit person can run continuously for 1 hour without getting exhausted. This fit person, though doesn’t run at his maximum speed, has the ability to contract his muscles at sub-maximum level for an extended length of time without fatigue.
- Musculo-Skeletal Strength
It is the combined strength of muscle, bone, tendons and ligaments that includes muscle power as well. Muscle power is the ability of muscles to perform maximally against a load or resistance in a given time frame. This can be judged by the heavy weight load we are able to take.
Each joint in our body has a specific range of motion. Most of the times, we do not use the full range of motion of a joint. Flexibility is the ability of body to sustain full and complete range of motion around joints. It is achieved by improving elasticity of the body.
- Ideal Body Composition
It is the ability of an individual to maintain the ideal ratio of fat (adipose) tissue to lean body mass.
Fitness doesn’t mean a sleek figure like portrayed in the TV or a heavy muscular built of our bollywood heroes. Fitness is not defined by appearance.There’s a lot more it. You always need to consider these 5 components of fitness. Any fitness program that neglects one or more of these components is not going to benefit your body in the long run. An effective fitness program will attempt to improve all five components.
Prakash Sahu is a fitness trainer with an experience of 6 years in training and nutrition. He is a GGU and K11 certified trainer who believes in a holistic approach to fitness. He has transformed several men and women in Raipur to fit, healthy and happy!
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