Would you like to:
- Look better?
- Feel better both physically and mentally?
- Avoid injuries?
- Decrease your risk of disease?
- Keep doing activities you enjoy throughout your life?
If so, you are likely interested in your body’s fitness.
Fitness in general is defined as the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task. More particularly with respect to your physical body, fitness is the condition of being physically fit and healthy.
Physical fitness is an important part of life. It is an indicator which shows whether you have the ability to perform and enjoy day-to-day physical activities with ease.
Before the industrial revolution, fitness was commonly defined as the capacity of the person to meet the physical demands of daily life and carry out the day’s activities without undue fatigue. However, this definition has become insufficient because of automation, increased leisure time and changes in lifestyles. These days, physical fitness is considered a measure of the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist hypo-kinetic diseases, and to meet emergency situations.
Physical fitness is a set of attributes that people have or achieve. Being physically fit has been defined as the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and to meet unforeseen emergencies.
Things such as vigor, alertness, fatigue, and enjoyment are not easily measured. However, there are a number measurable components that do contribute to physical fitness. The majority of these components fall into two groups: one related to health and the other related to skills that pertain more to athletic ability.
The health-related components of physical fitness are
- cardiorespiratory endurance,
- muscular endurance,
- muscular strength,
- body composition and
Because these five health related components of physical fitness are more important to the public health than are the components related to athletic ability, we will focus on them.
1. Cardiorespiratory Endurance.
Cardiorespiratory endurance is an important part of overall physical fitness. It is the ability of the heart and lungs to absorb, transport and utilize oxygen over an extended period of physical exertion. Cardiorespiratory endurance also refers to the ability of the body to perform prolonged, large-muscle, dynamic exercise at moderate-to-high levels of intensity.
Performing regular aerobic exercise will help you improve your cardiorespiratory endurance level. Aerobic exercise is usually running, jogging, swimming, bicycling or even speed walking because all of these activities get your heart rate up and generally use larger muscle groups.
2. Muscular Endurance.
Muscular endurance is very important for people playing sports and who have to sustain an activity for long periods of time. It is the ability to perform many repetitions against a given resistance for a prolonged period of time.
Muscular endurance is a crucial element of fitness for athletes such as distance runners, cyclists, swimmers and rowers. It’s also important for success in many team sports like soccer.
To increase muscular endurance through exercise, you will need to perform exercises with low weight and complete a high number of repetitions. Exercises such as push-ups and squats are good examples.
3. Muscular Strength.
Muscle strength refers to the amount of force a muscle can produce with a single maximal effort. Strength refers to a muscle’s ability to generate force against physical objects. In the fitness world, muscular strength is the highest amount of effort exerted by the muscles of the body in order to overcome the most resistance in a single effort.
With muscular strength, you make progress while resting between workouts. Good exercise for muscle strength include bench presses, barbell bicep curls, and leg press machines.
4. Body Composition.
Body composition is the proportion of fat, muscle, and bone of an individual’s body. It is usually expressed as percentage of body fat and percentage of lean body mass. Those with a higher proportion of fat-free mass to a lower proportion of body fat have a healthy body composition. If you are overweight, improving your body composition involves lowering your percentage of body fat.
Muscle building helps increase lean mass and reduce fat mass. Therefore, good exercises for body composition include interval training in which you alternate bursts of very high intensity work with periods of lower intensity training.
Flexibility is defined as the range of motion of your joints or the ability of your joints to move freely. It also refers to the mobility of your muscles, which allows for more movement around the joints. Range of motion is the distance and direction your joints can move, while mobility is the ability to move without restriction.
Flexibility training helps improve the range of motion of your joints and muscles. It also decreases your risk of injury. One way to improve flexibility is to incorporate stretching into your fitness routine. You should stretch your entire body and hold your stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.