Breaking Down Physical Fitness
Fitness is an essential part of an overall healthy lifestyle as well as one of the most effective (and cost effective) forms of healthcare and disease prevention. Most often, it is broken up into four distinct categories of physical activity – endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Each category plays a unique role in improving your overall physical health.
- Aerobic activities make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. Aerobic activities can be moderate or vigorous in their intensity levels, and range from 60-85% of your maximum heart rate. A general guide to use: For moderate activities you can talk, but you can’t sing. With vigorous activities, you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.
- Muscle-strengthening activities make your muscles stronger.
- Bone-strengthening activities make your bones stronger and are especially important for children and adolescents, as well as older adults.
- Balance and stretching activities enhance physical stability and flexibility, which reduce the risk of injuries.
It is important to ensure your workout routine includes all four categories of physical activity. You will not only benefit more in terms of your physical fitness, a well-rounded workout routine will also be more fun and reduce your risk for injury.