The Four Pillars of Physical Fitness

Our bodies are designed to move.

When family, work and life demands leave us exhausted on the couch, it’s probably not because we are moving too much in our day. Odds are, it’s because we are moving and sleeping too little and not effectively managing our stress.

Here’s the big picture overview of the four critical pillars of caring for and maintaining your physical fitness:

Most people tend to focus on one pillar, with an occasional venture into the other three areas. Cardio fitness is critical for heart health and tends to be the dominant pillar for exercise. However, to keep our ‘machine’ running well, all of the pillars need regular attention.

Without effort in maintaining our strength, we naturally lose one percent of muscle mass per year after the ages of 35 to 40. While this may seem small, a 10 percent loss of muscle in a decade is serious. It can have catastrophic effects on our balance (leading to falls and broken bones) and bone density, as well as slowing metabolism and inviting weight gain.

Flexibility is necessary to prevent muscle tears and improve overall motion, and balance is essential to maintain motion and independence as we age.

These four pillars complement and depend upon each other, so consider each when you’re planning your daily activities. Take opportunities in your everyday life for more movement and make time for daily exercise, Your life quality, your rate of aging and health depend on it.

To your good health!

Coach Gayle

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