In a report released last month from the American College of Sports Medicine's 14th Annual Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition, sport physiologist, Michael Bracko, Ed.D, FACSM is cited as saying "those seeking motivation to start an exercise program should first determine their 'fitness desire.'" He outlines 5 categories of fitness that you should consider when finding a regimen that works best for you. They include:
- Recreational Athlete Fitness: If your goal is to attain general fitness through cross-training, this category depicts you. The recreational athlete tends to be interested in a particular sport (e.g., softball). This focus provides you with the motivation to be active.
- Health-Related Fitness: You fall into this category if your goal is to improve your well-being in general. Walking, Pilates and Yoga are examples of this form of training.
- Functional Fitness: Examples of this category include gardening and bowling. Functional fitness exercises are for you if your desire is to achieve and maintain independence with advancing age and/or to be able to complete activities of daily living without undue fatigue.
- Physical Fitness: A traditional exercise program that incorporates aerobic, strength building, and flexibility activities is an example of this category. Going to a health club to participate in group classes (e.g., Spinning, Zumba, etc.,) or using the facility's weight machines would suit you if you fall under this category.
- Elite Athlete Fitness: The goal is to succeed in a specialized sport or event, such as a triathlon. This category involves intense, sport-specific training to improve your performance rather than to enhance your fitness level and/or health.