I got into a discussion the other day with a doctor and colleague about fitness. You know, doctors generally know it all, and brook few, if any, arguments. This gent was arguing with me, saying that he, with his paunch and obviously sedentary nature, was physically fit, as he could climb the stairs where he lives when the lift fails, and is able to operate all day without feeling tired, and so on. By his book, he did not need any physical training or exercise to become fit. He was, after all, the paradigm of fitness for his age.
Fitness, however my friend may think it, is a concept that is broad and encompasses the following:
Strength – the extent to which muscles can exert force by contracting against resistance (e.g. holding or restraining an object or person)
Power – the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movements. The two components of power are strength and speed. (e.g. jumping or a sprint start)
Agility – the ability to perform a series of explosive power movements in rapid succession in opposing directions (e.g. ZigZag running or cutting movements)
Balance – the ability to control the body’s position, either stationary (e.g. a handstand) or while moving (e.g. a gymnastics stunt)
Flexibility – the ability to achieve an extended range of motion without being impeded by excess tissue, i.e. fat or muscle (e.g. executing a leg split)
Local Muscle Endurance – a single muscle’s ability to perform sustained work (e.g. rowing or cycling)
Cardiovascular Endurance – the heart’s ability to deliver blood to working muscles and their ability to use it (e.g. running long distances)
Strength Endurance – a muscle’s ability to perform a maximum contraction time after time (e.g. continuous explosive rebounding through an entire basketball game)
Co-ordination– the ability to integrate the above listed components so that effective movements are achieved.
(Quote from http://www.brianmac.co.uk)
Quite so! This is basic stuff for fitness experts, but this is something lay people just don’t understand.
What is my fantasy of fitness? Here it is:
(this is supposed to be the fittest guy on the planet: so show some respect, and watch that movie for the 3 minutes it takes!)
“Oh, Doc! You are too old for this stuff! Get real!!” Did you say that?
Well, here is my answer, and my 77 year-old inspiration: