For some, exercise is about one thing – running faster, getting stronger, becoming leaner, improving mobility. Being single minded as an athlete will certainly enable you to reach your peak but along the way you may find that other areas of health require some additional time or focus.
Even as a person who starts to exercise as a way to improve health can get ‘obsessed’ with a single goal and that obsession could lead to an unhealthy outcome.
Once in a while it’s worth looking at the health measures – see diagram below and self evaluating you current status. You maybe improving your 5km run times but how is your muscular strength and flexibility. Working on these other dimensions will help you to become healthier and may lead to improve performance in your primary pursuit.
Try to get yourself into the “good” measure in all dimensions before aiming for excellence in a single dimension. Don’t become that super strong person who can’t run for a bus or touch their toes. Think about adding some upper body strength work to your weekly schedule if you’re a distance runner. Aim for balance, avoid injury but allow yourself to excel in the areas that you are passionate.
The ratings above are pretty subjective and one person’s 2 maybe another 3 but just by spending some time evaluating will help you highlight the areas where you have some work to do. You are likely to already know, for instance, that you should work on your flexibility. I’d advice a dedicated month, work on your flexibility every day for a month and see where you are. If you feel that you have moved up a notch then reduce your flexibility work to maintenance and focus on something else.
Be healthy, have balance, enjoy yourself and excel when and where you can.