5 Components of Fitness

by Ashley

Happy Hump Day!  It sure does come a lot quicker when it’s only a four day week, eh?  I definitely won’t complain there!

For those of you that don’t know, I am a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).


I have been certified for about a year, and I even worked at a gym as a trainer for about six months.  (That’s a whole other story I’ll share with you some other time, but in a nutshell…I hate sales, so I didn’t enjoy it.)

When I worked as a personal trainer, one of the biggest things I realized hardly anyone knew was that there is more than just a couple components that factor into being fit, living a healthy lifestyle, and/or achieving fitness goals.  Many people assumed that it was only nutrition and cardio that made you fit, others assumed only supplements and resistence training, and still others had no idea at all what exactly it is that contributes to a person’s fitness and health. 

NASM goes through five components of fitness that they believe all contribute together to result in a fit and healthy lifestyle.  Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or maintain, all five components work together to help achieve whatever your end goal is. 

Let’s go through the five components (in no particular order):    


According to NASM, cardiovascular exercise decreases:

  • daily fatigue
  • anxiety and depression
  • coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • hypertension
  • non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
  • cancer
  • osteoporosis
  • obesity

According to NASM, cardiovascular exercises increases:

  • flexibility
  • work, recreational, & sports performance
  • sense of well-being
  • blood lipid profile
  • insulin sensitivity
  • glucose tolerance
  • immunity

So I say get out there and start moving! 🙂 

Resistence Training


According to NASM, the benefits of resistence training include:

  • improved cardiovascular efficiency
  • beneficial endocrine and serum lipid adaptations
  • increased bone density
  • increased lean body mass
  • decreased body fat
  • increased metabolic efficiency
  • increased tissue tensile strength
  • increased power
  • increased endurance

Pump that iron folks!



There is a TON that could be said about nutrition.  In a nutshell, my advice (along with NASM) is to:

  • choose whole grains and fresh vegetables over refined grains and simple sugars
  • eat every 2 to 4 hours
  • avoid empty calories and highly processed foods
  • drink a lot of water
  • distribute protein, carbohydrate, and fat throughout the day and at each meal
  • be aware of portion sizes


When people hear the word, supplementation, most will say they think of protein powders, creatine, etc.  However, supplementation is so much more than that and should be used by everyone, whether you’re a body builder or not.  In fact, the definition of a dietary supplement, according to NASM is: “a substance that completes or makes an addition to daily dietary intake”.  Even the gummy multi vitamins that I buy my husband are supplements! 🙂


Unfortunately, it is quite rare that someone gets enough of every vitamin and mineral solely within their daily calorie intake each day.  Therefore, it is crucial to at least take a multivitamin.  I am not one to condone taking every supplement that they sell on the shelf, but I do believe that it is important to take a multivitamin.  If you’re wanting to see changes at all in your body (losing weight, gaining muscle, toning up, etc.), it’s crucial to create a positive environment within your body that will respond well to it.  If your body is not a healthy “environment”, it is unlikely that your body is apt to change as quickly.    

Professional Assistance

There are so many various resources out there to give people facts and advice about their diet and exercise routine.  However, some of these resources are completely bogus and not professional.  It is important that you follow professional advice when you are trying to change or alter your diet and/or fitness routine.  “Professional assistance” can include (but not limited to): personal trainers, registered dieticians, physicians. 

In closing, I challenge you to look at ALL five of these components as you are working toward your health and fitness goals, not just one or two.  They are all equally important and will get you the best results if you incorporate all of them within your routine and lifestyle.

Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any questions!

Disclaimer: This information is solely from what I have learned through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).  I agree with what I have learned from NASM, but others may disagree or have varying opinions on what I have mentioned within this post.  I am not a registered dietician or a physician.



8 Comments to “5 Components of Fitness”

  1. I love reading the benefits of cardio/resistance training… I never knew all of them, I just knew it was.. good! This post was really helpful.. and motivates me to keep working out like i am!

  2. This is such a great informative post girl, thank you so much! I know that cardio and resistance training are essential, but I didn’t know a ton of this info
    This page has been bookmarked 🙂

  3. Awesome post! I think it’s great to remind people of all of these components. I majored in exercise science in undergrad and it was amazing to learn about everything that goes into living a healthy life 🙂

  4. Found you at STSL…great reminders, especially about the multi-vitamin. I had neglected that for so many years but just started taking one again. And drinking LOTS of water too. Such simple things that make BIG differences.

    • Welcome! STSL is one of my favorite blogs. It’s so true…it’s the simple, small things that make the differences!! Way to start taking your multi again! 🙂

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