Fitness Tips by Tirza

Tirza is a teacher at Rochester International Dance Studio among other places in the community.  She has been a group exercise instructor/leader for close to 29 years. When she was growing up, she hated physical education class in school and was lousy at sports but she loved dancing or at least moving to music even though she didn’t have the opportunity to take dance classes as a child.

Her first column will define fitness.  Fitness may entail many things to different people, such as emotional, mental, and physical fitness; I will focus on physical fitness and leave the emotional and mental issues to others!  Read more about fitness….

The three components of physical fitness:

  1. Cardiovascular endurance
  2. Strength
  3. Flexibility

In order for our bodies to function at their best, we need all three.

We need to have cardiovascular endurance

Our hearts need to function well both at rest and when working hard.  To achieve this one needs to include aerobic or cardio workouts in their personal plan.  Examples are any style of dance, floor, or step based cardio group workouts, jogging, walking, elliptical machines, swimming and so forth.

We need to have strength

Our muscles need to be strong enough to carry out everyday tasks with ease, as well as the occasional not so ordinary tasks without buckling under the pressure!  Examples of strength work may include using resistance machines, free weights and resistance tubing, as well as exercises which use your own body as the resistance, such as Pilates, or good old fashioned calisthenics such as push-ups.

We need to have flexibility

We need to be able to reach, bend, and rotate our bodies when and where we want or need to without the muscles snapping back to a short position in rebellion!  Yoga works on making your muscles flexible.  Stretching after your other workouts is a great way to work on flexibility; just make sure you hold those stretches longer than just 8 counts!

These three components may all be found in one well rounded workout or each may be focused on separately.  (Each will be talked about more at a later time.)  For now my point is this: we need to have all three of these fitness components; there needs to be a balance between them as in all of life. Just as we have to have our tires rotated and balanced; just as many like to have their decor balanced; just as our checkbooks need to be balanced……our quest for physical fitness