The word fitness is often associated with an image of a weight room. Fitness may also bring to mind many containers of supplements and a routine schedule. Weight rooms, supplements, and a routine schedule support the definition of fitness; however, these characteristics only partially display what true fitness means. There are other physical aspects of fitness besides pumping iron and taking supplements to enhance strength. There are non-physical factors and alternative methods of exercise that are included in achieving complete fitness.


Cardio is vital when working on achieving complete fitness. Cardio is overlooked frequently for several reasons such as not showing results or intimidating to start. The main benefit of cardio is to strengthen the heart and lungs. Yet, there are side benefits as well such as reducing fatigue during workouts and losing weight. The most common types of cardio are running, biking, and swimming. For beginners, walking and biking are excellent options to improve cardio. For the more advanced, running and swimming will strengthen the lungs and heart the best. Cardio is an excellent choice to achieve complete fitness due to the numerous benefits cardio yields.


Overlooked more than cardio, flexibility is crucial in achieving complete fitness. Many people stretch quickly and end stretching abruptly just as the burning sensation is felt. This prohibits anyone from reaching a full range of motion from the body. Having a full range of motion coincides with injury prevention and pain reduction. Flexibility is most commonly practiced through stretching and yoga. Preventing injury through flexibility will lead the way toward complete fitness.


Mental fitness is the most neglected form of fitness. Like physical fitness, mental fitness can benefit both the body and mind of an individual. Being mentally fit improves the emotional state of a person; as a result, mental fitness can battle stress and depression. Mental fitness can be achieved by focusing on one thing at a time.  Improving mental fitness can be accomplished through simple exercises such as playing cards, reading, or trying new experiences.