One of the most common questions I get is “if you were to pick one piece of equipment to stay fit, what would it be?” That’s a bit like saying “if you had to pick between the engine, steering wheel, and seats of your car, which would you keep?” You can’t really drive a functional car without all of these components, just like you’re not really fit if you don’t have a healthy metabolism, and are strong and flexible. Picture the following scenarios:I speak to a number of clients every week who tell me that they want to buy a piece of cardio equipment –treadmills, bikes, ellipticals or rowers – because they want to “keep fit.” I think this is a wonderful starting point for “fitness maintenance,” but if we’re being honest, it’s an incomplete solution. The reality is, by the time you’re into your mid-30’s, your body is declining in 3 directions – you’re getting weaker, your metabolism is slowing down and you’re becoming less and less flexible. That is of course UNLESS you are counteracting the cruel and relentless forces of nature by working in a healthier direction in ALL 3 OF THESE CATEGORIES.
- A man who is so inflexible and stiff that he has such excruciating back pain that he can’t golf or ski as much as he would like, despite the fact that he is quite strong
- A woman who can carry 2 kids and move furniture without any pain or issues but is out of breath after a flight of stairs
- A woman who can run 10km a day but is so tight that she has chronic knee and Achilles problems and has to take time off from her favourite sport for weeks/months every year.
Are these people truly fit? The answer is, sort of.
In my opinion, fitness includes all 3 of these components – a healthy metabolism, strength, and flexibility. Without all 3, you’ll be limited in one way or another and won’t be able to do all that you enjoy in life. So my advice is, do not approach fitness as a one-dimensional endeavor. Make time in your schedule for strength training (no you won’t bulk up, and you will burn lots of calories and increase your metabolism). Make time for stretching (yes it’s boring and slow-going but it feels fantastic and your injury prevention goes through the roof). Make time for cardio (you know you’ll feel better, lose weight, and have a healthier heart). Make time for all 3. If you think it’s too much to tackle, do shorter sessions more frequently and just work on consistency (consistency being step 1 of fitness success). I hope this has helped you in your fitness journey!
If we can help you with fitness equipment suggestions or advice, please do not hesitate to reach out to your local Fitness Town store.
Have fun and train smart!