Fitness Fitness is more than trips to the gym and the loss of a few pounds. To be truly fit, you must be both mentally and physically fit! The components of fitness support the health of your body and your mental state and include: Components of Fitness The components of fitness include power, strength, endurance, flexibility, agility, balance, and coordination. These are important, whether you are a professional athlete or a new trainee in the gym. Your fitness program should include and address all these components. Strength - Resistance and weight training will increase your strength. Power - Powerlifting, Olympic lifts, and plyometrics are your best options. Endurance - Include exercises like running, long brisk walks, cycling, aerobics, or rowing. Flexibility - Perform 3-5 minutes of stretching before and after your workouts. Yoga and Pilates are also excellent choices. Balance and Coordination - Core training and a balance ball are good choices. Importance of Fitness Fitness has benefits beyond being stronger, faster, and more flexible. Being fit will provide: Increased Energy Fitness and regular physical exercise improve your muscle strength, bone strength and increase your endurance. Your heart and lungs will become stronger and more efficient, which then deliver more oxygen and nutrients to tissues in all parts of your body. This combination of greater strength and endurance with greater blood, oxygen, and nutrient flow will boost your energy levels. Reduced Risk of Illness Fitness and exercise increase your immunity and help protect you from diseases like colds and flu. Exercise also helps flush bacteria from your lungs and airways while boosting the production of healthy antibodies and infection-fighting blood cells. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease According to the American Heart Association, fitness can help reduce your risk of the following conditions: heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and depression. Lower Stress Levels Effective ways to help you manage and eliminate stress include meditation, yoga, and regular exercise. Fitness and exercise increase your body’s production of your brain’s mood-enhancing neurotransmitters called endorphins. Improved Sleep and Brain Health Fitness and exercise improve your mental sharpness, mood, and sleep. Improved Self-Confidence When you look good, you feel good. When you are healthy and fit, you will stand straight, walk tall, and carry yourself more confidently. Once you are fit, you will be much more likely to engage in healthy behaviors while avoiding unhealthy habits like overeating, drinking to excess, or smoking. Instead, you will look forward to working out regularly, eating a balanced nutritious diet, and treating your body with respect.