5 Components of Physical Fitness

Total fitness can be defined by how well the body performs in each one of the components of physical fitness as a whole. There are a lot of benefits of prioritizing physical fitness. You need to understand what fitness is and how can you achieve it. That's where the components of fitness come in. The five components of fitness are:Cardiovascular endurance Muscular strengthMuscular endurance FlexibilityBody compositionCreating a fitness plan that incorporates each of these elements can help ensure that you get the most health benefits from your routine.Cardiovascular Endurance: Cardiovascular endurance is your body's ability to efficiently and effectively intake oxygen and deliver it to your body's tissues through the heart, lungs, arteries, vessels, and veins. By engaging in regular exercise that challenges your heart and lungs, you can:Maintain or even improve the efficient delivery and uptake of oxygen to your body's systems Enhance cellular metabolism Ease the physical challenges of everyday life Running, walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, circuit training, and boxing are just a few of the many workouts designed to benefit heart health.The key is consistency. It may sound like a lot, but 150 minutes breaks down to just 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day, five to seven days a week, depending on how hard you push yourself.

Muscular Endurance: Muscular endurance is one of two factors that contribute to overall muscular health. Think of muscular endurance as a particular muscle group's ability to continuously contract against a given resistance.Long-distance cyclists are the best example. To continuously pedal a bike over a long distance cyclists have to develop fatigue-resistant muscles in their legs and glutes. These are evidence of a high level of muscular endurance.Likewise, holding a plank to develop core strength is another example of muscular endurance. The longer you're able to contract your abdominals and hold your body in a steady position, the greater endurance you have through your hips, abdominals, and shoulders.Muscular Strength: Muscular endurance refers to how fatigue-resistant a particular muscle group is, muscular strength refers to the amount of force a particular muscle group can produce in one, all-out effort. In strength training terms, it's your one-rep max.Like muscular endurance, muscular strength is muscle group-specific. In other words, you may have incredibly strong glutes, but comparatively weak deltoids; or incredibly strong pectoral muscles, but comparatively weak hamstrings. This is why a well-balanced strength training program that targets all of your major muscle groups is so important.Flexibility: This is the ability of each joint to move through the available range of motion for a specific joint. Examples would be stretching individual muscles or the ability to perform certain functional movements such as the lunge. The sit and reach test is most often used to test flexibility.Body composition: The amount of fat mass compared to lean muscle mass, bone and organs is what we call Body composition. This can be measured using underwater weighing, Skinfold readings, and bioelectrical impedance. Underwater weighing is considered the “gold standard” for body fat measurement, however because of the size and expense of the equipment needed very few places are set up to do this kind of measurement.

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