Generally, physical fitness is defined as the ability of a person to meet the physical demands of daily life and carrying out the day-to-day activities without unnecessary fatigue. There are numerous benefits of physical fitness which include better health, greater strength, more flexibility, increased energy, improved appearance and many more. Being physically and mentally fit helps to improve the quality of life.
Fitness is more than just exercise. It is not just about your weight control, strength, endurance, fat etc. Exercise is indeed good for you, but in order to get the most out of exercising, you should follow a balanced exercise program. To achieve your fitness goal, you will need to balance all of its components.
There are mainly five components of physical fitness, which you need to consider for optimal health.
Let’s take a look at each of the fitness components necessary for optimal health.
1. Cardiorespiratory endurance
Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen during sustained physical activity. It consists of exercise like walking, running, biking, rowing, treadmills, jogging etc. that forces functioning of your cardiovascular system i.e. lungs, heart, and blood vessels. It consists of aerobic physical activities lasting longer than 90 seconds. It is very important to be fit in your cardiovascular systems. To improve cardiovascular endurance, aerobic exercise should be performed at least 3 times per week, 15-20 minutes each day.
2. Muscular endurance
Muscular endurance is the ability to perform repeated muscular effort over a period of time without fatigue. A good muscular endurance can perform more number of repetitions of a particular strength training exercise such as running, jogging, cross-training on an elliptical machine, etc.
3. Muscular strength
Muscular strength is defined as the maximum amount of force produced by a muscle in a single effort. It is the ability of the muscle to exert strength during a workout or an activity. To increase your muscular strength, exercise using heavy weight for 3-6 times. It is measured by maximum amount of strength a muscle has while lifting or during an exertion. The best ways to improve the muscular strength is by performing anaerobic weightlifting exercises like the bench press, leg press, shoulder press, or bicep curls etc.
Flexibility is defined as the ability to bend and move the joints through full range of motion. It depends upon many variables like gender, age, body composition, behavioral activity etc. By the flexibility of your joints the fitness level is measured. If you have good flexibility, injuries related to joints could be prevented but poor flexibility increases your risk of injury. It helps in improving lower back health, reducing the appearance and effects of arthritis, and reducing muscle-tendon injuries. Exercises such as stretching, yoga, Pilates, swimming etc. are the way to improve the physical flexibility.
5. Body composition
Body composition is the percent of body fat compared to your lean body mass (muscles, bones, tendons, ligament, organs etc.). High percentages of body fat can lead to coronary disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic disease, low energy and many more. It is directly relates to the overall fitness level. It consider the individual body type according to the height, frame size, weight and the ratio of the fat mass to lean muscle mass.
It is important to focus on all of these five fitness components in order to have a complete and effective fitness plan. The fitness plan will help ensure optimal health and prevent chronic disease like heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetics etc.