“One who is physically fit has an enhanced functional capacity that allows for a high quality of life.”
American Council on Exercise
It is very likely that one of your New Year’s Resolution included getting in shape. But what does that even mean? “Getting in shape” is synonymous with fitness. And while there are several habits one should begin to practice in effort to see rapid results; there is a more pressing issue one must first grasp: what does being “physically fit” entail?
Learn the five major fitness components and measure yourself with this quick quiz to see where you currently stand. On a scale of 1 – 10, (10 being perfect) rate yourself in general terms whether or not this is an area think you excel or where you know you can improve. This is not a scientific testing, rather a simple method to help you test your knowledge of the five components and where you believe you currently stand. The goal is to celebrate your strengths; and acknowledge the areas where you may need to improve. If you are serious about actualizing an improved fitness level, then your goal is to strive to include these five fitness components as you train toward optimal fitness. I invite you to retake this quiz after 6 months. Share your improvements with me, and I will post it on my blog to celebrate your success!
(Pssst! Great news! Currently we are filming a series of workouts which will cover all five fitness components! In addition watch for a series of guest trainers who excel in various topics to educate you further!)
The Five Major Components of Fitness:
1) Muscular Strength – How much weight can you handle during a muscle contraction? What is the maximal force your muscle (or a muscle group) can exert during a single contraction? For example, with a basic bicep curl, I am comfortable with 10 lb. dumbbells in each hand, repetitively lifting and lowering. My maximal weight is closer to 20 – 25 lbs dumbbells in each hand. In earnest, I am satisfied with this weight. I will say, as I get older, I will aim to increase this number as it is good for my bones. Rate yourself in general terms if you don’t have weights. How many gallons of milk or bags of groceries can you handle before it gets to be too much? ***To help you further with this, be sure to watch for one of Boston’s leading fitness experts to lead us in a workout to train for muscular strength.
Your score (1-10) ____________
2) Muscular Endurance – How many push ups or tricep dips can you perform before you become fatigued? Muscular Endurance is the ability to perform a fitness task repetitively before becoming fatigued. In effort to increase muscular endurance through exercise, perform exercises with low weight and complete a high number of repetitions. *** Belly Barre and Ball are excellent workouts to improve muscular endurance.
Your Score (1-10) ____________
3) Cardiorespiratory Endurance – Often referred to as “aerobic fitness;” dancing, swimming, walking, are all ways to improve your cardiorespiratory endurance. If you are easily winded during any of these basic exercises, then your goal is to build cardiorespiratory stamina. *** Belly Ball and Belly Dance will train for optimal aerobic fitness.
Your Score (1-10)____________
4) Flexibility – If you are able to move (all) your joints through their full range motion comfortably, then you enjoy optimal flexibility. Maintaining a level of flexibility is essential to prevent injury. One of the leading causes of lower back pain, as well as compromised posture, is due to tight muscles. *** Belly Barre pays close attention to flexibility. (Never say never, many have learned to do the splits after training effectively in my belly barre classes!)
Your Score (1-10)____________
5) Body Composition – Lean body mass to body fat ratio. In physical fitness, body composition is the percentages of fat, bone, water and muscle in human bodies. In essence, you want to have more muscle than fat. There are a variety of ways to measure body fat which go beyond the scope of this blog. Learn from your doctor which percentage is best for your body and aim to meet this by watching your diet and training effectively. Pay special attention to weight-bearing exercises designed to improve your muscular strength and endurance – doing so elevates your resting metabolic rate – which means you burn more fat at rest! To be sure, eating healthy is key. *** RaqiSa Lifestyle, provides healthy recipes and insight to give you support as you strive toward a leaner total body composition.
Your Score (1-10)_____________
TALLY YOUR TOTAL SCORE________________
In Summation: Clearly your total score is meant to be 50. And as long as your doctor has given you the green light, then be assured that no matter how old (or young) you are; no matter what your current fitness level is – if you begin to get serious about your health, and you train in effort to meet all five fitness components, then you will likely be one of the few who can actually put a “feather in their cap” because you will have officially become “more physically fit in 2015!”
To be sure, recognize that each component is equally important; in addition, striving to meet each component will be a life long process. If it feels too overwhelming, begin by discovering what motivates you to move. Then layer in these essential components little by little. Trust that the process will be tough at times – but it’s so worth it. Keep your eye on what’s important: “A life time of fitness allows for quality living.”
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RaqiSa Fitness: We Believe that Strong and Healthy is Beautiful.