AT a GAA football match recently I heard a spectator describe a player as ‘flying fit.’
A week later while watching a local triathlon I heard a guy say ‘I wish I had their fitness.’
Fitness is a word that’s passed around now so often these days, but what does it really mean?
Personally, I believe that fitness is a variable thing, and that you can be fit for one sport or activity, but not for another. For example a marathon runner would struggle in the gym to lift heavy weights and a gym enthusiast would find it hard to compete in a long distance run like a marathon.
But they are both really fit!
So I believe there’s two or three different types of fitness. You can be physically fit and have never trained on a pitch, on the road or in the gym. Your job alone can make you physically fit.
You can be strength fit which means you go to the gym and concentrate on lifting weights, and you can be cardio fit which has to do with training your heart and lungs.
Your genetics, your muscle tissue, your overall health and lifestyle are all determining factors of what your fitness levels are or can be.
Being physically fit depends on how well a person fulfils each of the components of being healthy.
These include cardio respiratory capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition (muscle to fat ratio) and flexibility/agility.
I think that if you find a balance between cardiovascular fitness and strength fitness you should have a great overall fitness. From these two aspects comes muscular endurance and body fat composition.
The other things you can work on yourself is your flexibility and agility, and more on that in the weeks to come.
Paudie O’Donovan is a Neuromuscular Physical Therapist
specialising in pain relief and improvement of mobility/flexibility.
He runs a Sports Injury Clinic in Skibbereen
Follow him on Facebook, Instagram or contact him on 086-2339618