The 4 pillars of fitness

Posted on in Industry News, News

Pillar 2 – Strength Training

Regular physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and for preventing disease. That being said, it can be difficult to decide where to focus your exercise efforts.

There are endless exercise options available today. Many people find themselves struggling to decide which exercise program to try, or they only focus on one type of exercise. No matter what kind of program you decide to do, you need to make sure you’re hitting the Four Pillars of Fitness.

  1. Aerobic activity – some may also refer to this as cardio. Aerobic activity involves maintaining an increased heart rate for an extended period of time. Aerobic activities include running, walking, swimming, biking, rowing, hiking, dancing, etc. It reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and strokes, as well as improving lung function and decreasing body weight. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week.
  2. Strength training – the goal of strength training is to increase muscle strength and mass. Strength training is important because when you have more muscle, your body naturally burns more calories. Strength training can be done with weights, such as kettlebells and dumbbells, or with resistance bands. Body weight exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, and sit-ups are also considered strength training moves. The CDC recommends two or more days per week of muscle strengthening activities.
  3. Balance fitness/training – balance fitness refers to any activity where you activate your abdominal muscles for stability and control of your body. They include activities like yoga, tai chi, stability and BOSU ball exercises, and more. Balancing activities are especially important for older adults. Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults. If young adults want to make sure they don’t have balancing troubles when they’re older, they should incorporate balance exercises into their physical activity.
  4. Flexibility – flexibility training is directly related to one’s range of motion and injury prevention. Dynamic and static stretching are how one increases their flexibility. Dynamic stretching involves repetitive and controlled movements through a complete range of motion. Dynamic stretches include leg swings, high knees, and butt kickers. Static stretching is when one gradually lengthens their muscles to the furthest range of motion and holds the position for 10 – 30 seconds. Static stretches include toe touches or tricep stretches. The American Council on Exercise recommends including 30 minutes, three times per week and stretching before and after exercise. Dynamic stretches should be performed prior to exercise and static stretching should be perform after exercising.

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