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Physical activity plays an important role in our health, well being, and quality of life. And the health benefits of physical activity are numerous. But what level of physical activity makes you physically fit?
What is Physically Fit?
Being physically fit means that your body is able to function effectively and efficiently during work and leisure activities. It also means that your body is able to ward off some diseases and is capable of responding to emergency conditions.
The more of a certain activity that you do the better your cardiovascular endurance will be. Therefore, are there different levels of being physically fit? Is there a “fittest” level in order to obtain the greatest quality of life?
Components of Physical Fitness
From my research I found that there are 5 components of physical fitness.
- Cardiorespiratory fitness
- Muscular strength
- Muscular endurance
- Body composition
Cardiorespiratory fitness means being able to sustain an elevated heart rate. It indicates how well your body’s circulatory and respiratory system can supply fuel during physical activity. This includes activities that require endurance such as running, brisk walking, and cycling.
Muscular strength is how much force your muscles are able to exert force during activity. This can be achieved with strength training in order to develop muscle mass.
Muscular endurance goes with muscular strength and is the ability for your muscles to continue exerting force without fatigue. In order to increase muscular endurance try increasing the number of reps for each strength training exercise. Also, limit your rest time in between sets.
Body composition describes the percentages of fat, bone, water and muscle of an individual’s body, expressed as a percentage of body fat. Dexa Scan, Bod Pod, and caliber are ways of measuring body composition.
Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints. To prevent injury during physical activity, it is important to maintain good flexibility. Therefore, include some stretching after your workout.
In conclusion, we need to include all 5 components of physical fitness in order to measure overall physical fitness. Let’s not only focus on one, but include them all into our fitness plan.
Medical News Today, by Tim Newman dated Dec 2, 2015
American College of Sports Medicine News Article February 2016