- Muscular Strength - This component assesses the ability of the muscles to lift weight. Weight training including the bench press, push up and bicep curl are all examples of exercises used to determine muscular strength. This component is the one that is most often considered when we think of being fit or in shape.
- Muscular Endurance - Muscle endurance refers to the ability of a muscle to perform a continuous effort without fatiguing. In other words, how long you can work a particular set of muscles. Running, cycling, elliptical machines as well as repetitive exercise (calisthenics) are all examples of muscular endurance.
- Flexibility - This component tests the ability of all of the joints in the body to move through the full range of motion for each particular joint. Yoga, pilates and stretching exercise are examples of flexibility.
- Body Composition - This component takes into account your "body type" that is, height, weight, frame size and the proportion of fat mass compared to lean muscle mass. Underwater weighing is is the most accurate way to test body fat.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Article # 416. The 5 Components of Physical Fitness
There are 5 components of physical fitness, and these components represent how fit the body is as a whole.
Some people think that being physically fit means being in good general health. Other people think it means being able to lift a certain amount of weight or being able to run a particular distance in a certain time.
There's actually no single agreed upon definition of physical fitness.
One common definition is that physical fitness is a set of attributes that people have or achieve relating to their ability to perform physical activity.
Another common definition is that physical fitness is a state of well-being with a low risk of premature health problems and energy to participate in a variety of physical activities.
Even though the definition of physical fitness can vary, there's near unanimous agreement on the 5 components of physical fitness. Here's an overview of each of the components:
1. Cardiovascular Fitness - Cardiovascular fitness (also known as cardiorespiratory fitness) is the ability of the heart, lungs and vascular system to deliver oxygen-rich blood to working muscles during sustained physical activity. Aerobic conditioning, like jogging, swimming and cycling, can help improve cardiovascular endurance.
Improving Individual Components
· Once you've had your own 5 components of physical fitness measured, you can use this information to form a fitness regimen tailored to your needs. If you're weak in cardiovascular endurance, you'll need aerobic conditioning in the form of jogging, swimming, cycling or even sports. Strength training exercises can help improve muscular strength; a strength training exercise that uses low weight and high reps can help improve muscular endurance.
· Yoga and pilates can help improve overall flexibility. Following good exercise practices can also help; warm up and stretch before your workouts, then cool down and stretch after to keep your muscles from shortening. Flexibility often improves rapidly with practice. The more you exercise, the lower your body mass index should become as you lose weight.
· An effective fitness program includes all 5 components of physical fitness. While it's acceptable to emphasize exercises for one or more weaker components, be sure not to neglect the others. Also, any strenuous exercise in one muscle group or fitness component should be followed by 24 to 48 hours of rest for that area, to allow it to recover.