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Build Your Fitness "Toolbox"

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

OK, so I guess the first thing to cover is what exactly is meant by a fitness "toolbox". Well, put quite simply, a fitness toolbox is the collection of exercises, disciplines, sports, physical and mental activities that one performs. This includes any activity which is physically or mentally demanding whose aim is to bring about a positive change in ones physical and mental well-being. No single sport or discipline challenges or improves every aspect of physical and mental health, so it is important to have a wide range of tools at your disposal to cover all bases.


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Let's take a look at just a few of the elements of physical health (mental health is beyond my scope of expertise, but I will touch on it later):

Cardiovascular fitness - The ability of the heart, lungs and blood vessels to supply the muscles with oxygen-rich blood, and the muscles' ability to use oxygen to produce energy for movement.

Muscular endurance - The ability of working muscles to exert force against resistance over an extended period of time.

Muscular strength - The ability of working muscles to exert maximal force against resistance.

Flexibility - The end range of motion of a joint OR the ability for a muscle to passively lengthen through a range of motion.

Mobility - The ability of a muscle or joint to actively move through a range of motion.

Balance - The ability to maintain the bodies' centre of gravity within the base of support.

Coordination - The ability to move two or more body parts under control.

Of course, many of these elements work together to form other elements such as agility, speed and power, and many of these elements are complementary to each other. This is why it is important to address all of these elements.

What does this mean

What this means is that it might be time to evaluate your training regime and identify areas where you may be lacking. If you perform lots of endurance-type activities it would be good to include strength and power exercises. If you perform a lot of muscular strengthening and endurance work it might be good to include some mobility and flexibility work.

What About Mental Health?

Before getting into this section, it is important to define what I mean by mental health. Often, when speaking of mental health, many seem to associate this with mental health disorders. For the purpose of this article, mental health relates to one's overall mental health and well-being.

The link between physical health and mental health has long since been established. Regular exercise has a positive effect on mental health (1) and there are other mental health benefits to exercising as well. Sports improve tactical thinking, martial arts improve focus and discipline and yoga can help to relax you. Finding disciplines that challenge you mentally will have a positive effect on your overall mental health.

4 Tools To Add To Your Toolbox