Many misconceptions abound on the concept of fitness. Some people believe fitness means being thin or lean, while others think it is being muscular. But fitness goes beyond these. It is a combination of qualities that enable us to perform vigorous physical activities. It is the state of being fit, suitable, appropriate and competent (in good form). Fitness also means being in good physical condition (i.e. being healthy), as a result of exercise, proper nutrition and rest. In this article we’ll discuss about physical fitness.
This is the capacity to cope with daily routines which include occupation and lifestyle routines without undue tiredness, and with ample reserve of energy and zeal for recreation and emergencies. In other words, it is the body’s capacity to carry out work and protect itself against disease, infection, and the effects of physical discomforts like heat, cold and stress. There are components of physical fitness because a complete physical fitness is made up of many components. However, for the average person involved in moderately tasking occupation or lifestyle, the major components are: flexibility, muscle strength, muscle endurance, body composition and cardio-respiratory endurance.
- Flexibility: is the ability to move joints and stretch muscles through their full range of motion. A person who is very flexible, for instance, can bend over and touch the floor easily; the reverse is the case with someone with flexibility problems. Good flexibility in the joints can help prevent injuries through all stages of life. While it is natural to lose some level of flexibility as we get older, there are steps you can take to improve your flexibility through the years. For instance, you can make up your mind to always stretch before and after every physical activity. Stretching increases, the range of motion and helps to stimulate muscle growth.
- Muscle strength: muscle strength is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to exert maximum force for a brief time. It is the ability to perform some work of maximum intensity at once. An examples is, lifting a heavy object.
- Muscle endurance: muscle endurance is the ability of a muscle to sustain a contraction, or make multiple contractions, over an extended period without undue fatigue. Put simply, it is the amount of time that your muscles are able to do a certain activity before they get tired.
- Body composition: this refers to the makeup of the body in terms of lean mass (muscle, bone, vital tissue and organs) and fat mass. A particular ratio of fat to lean mass is an indication of one’s level of health and fitness.
- Cardio-Respiratory Endurance: also called stamina, aerobic endurance, cardio-vascular endurance or oxidative endurance, cardio-respiratory endurance is the ability of the heart and lungs to supply sufficient oxygen and nutrients to all areas of the body during sustained physical activity. Your cardio-respiratory endurance level is of utmost importance because it reflects how well your heart and lungs work together to supply essential necessities to your body during exertion and exercise.