Let’s Talk Fitness

Kelly Hastings

Who doesn’t want to be fit? Fitness includes being able to walk and stay balanced, as well as participate in bocce ball, pickleball, fitness classes, lap swimming, aquatic classes, running, biking, barre, Zumba, or any other activity you enjoy.

Fitness is a holistic concept that reflects our overall well-being. Being fit means we have the ability to perform our daily tasks effectively.

There are five components to being fit:

1. Cardiorespiratory fitness. This aspect relates to how well our body supplies fuel during physical activities. It involves the circulatory and respiratory systems. Activities like tennis, pickleball, swimming, brisk walking, jogging, and cycling enhance our cardiorespiratory endurance.

Regular engagement in these activities strengthens the heart muscle, allowing it to pump more blood per heartbeat. Additionally, small arteries grow within muscle tissue, improving blood delivery to working muscles when needed.

Research demonstrates that cardiorespiratory exercise and physical activity provide many benefits that enhance health, longevity, and weight loss (Wasfy & Baggish, 2016). Individuals who are more active on a regular basis enhance their likelihood of attaining these benefits, whereas sedentary individuals may experience rapid deterioration in their overall health and well-being.

2. Muscular strength. This aspect refers to the maximum force a muscle or group of muscles can exert against resistance. It’s essential for tasks like lifting heavy objects or maintaining posture. Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, help build muscle strength.[‘]

3. Muscular endurance. Unlike strength, endurance focuses on sustaining muscle contractions over an extended period. It’s crucial for activities like repetitive lifting or holding a yoga pose. Endurance exercises include bodyweight exercises (e.g., push-ups, squats) and high-repetition weightlifting.

4. Body composition. Body composition considers the proportion of fat, muscle, bone, and other tissues in our body. Achieving a healthy body composition involves maintaining an appropriate balance between fat and lean mass. Regular exercise and a balanced diet contribute to favorable body composition.

5. Flexibility. Flexibility refers to the range of motion around our joints. It affects our ability to perform everyday movements comfortably. Stretching exercises improve flexibility and can alleviate various medical complaints.

In summary, physical fitness isn’t just about running faster or lifting heavier weights; it’s about optimizing performance, endurance, and strength while managing disease, fatigue, and stress. Each component plays a unique role in our overall health, and various exercises can enhance them.

Saddlebrook Ranch is unique in regard to the five components of fitness. The various fitness classes offered cover cardio, strength, flexibility, and balance. Pick up a list of offerings at the fitness desk or peruse through the HOA website.