Physical fitness is essential to the overall health of an individual. When you are physically fit, you’ll be able to perform daily activities with ease. Did you know that there are five components of physical fitness? Being familiar with them can help you organize and execute your workout routine.
Components of Physical Fitness
1. Muscular Strength
Muscular strength is the maximum amount of force a muscle can produce at one time. It is the “power” that helps you carry heavy objects. Without muscular strength, the body would be weak and won’t be able to keep up with the physical demand placed upon it. You can make your muscles stronger by lifting heavy weights for a few repetitions. Some examples of exercises that focus on muscular strength are bench press, leg press, and loaded squats.
2. Muscular Endurance
Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscle to resist fatigue while exerting a sub-maximal amount of force. Basically, it’s a measure of how long a muscle can withstand prolonged contraction or repetitive contractions. Training for muscular endurance will require you to perform multiple repetitions at a lower weight than you would do for muscular strength. Some exercises that can build muscular endurance include push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups (performed to a point of fatigue).
3. Cardiovascular Endurance
This component relies on proper functioning of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to transport oxygen to tissues and carry away metabolic waste products. Physical activities that train for cardiovascular endurance focus on dynamic, repetitive, and prolonged movements using major muscle groups. It is recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. To improve cardiovascular endurance, try exercises such as jogging, running, cycling, and swimming.
Flexibility is the ability of joints to move through a range of motion. It helps prevent muscular imbalances and allows a person to move about with ease. Ways to improve flexibility include static stretching (holding a stretch for 30 to 60 seconds) and dynamic stretching (holding a stretch for a few seconds then repeating for multiple reps). Other exercises that could improve flexibility are yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates.
5. Body Fat Composition
Body fat composition pertains to the amount of fat on the body. For example, a 100-pound person with 25% body fat composition has a lean body mass of 75 pounds. Overall health generally improves when a person has a lower percentage of body fat and a higher amount of lean muscle mass.
To qualify as fit:
• Men should have a body fat composition that is less than 17%
• Women should have a body fat composition that is less than 24%
The average man has about 18 to 24% body fat, while the average woman has 25 to 31% body fat.
The health benefits of regular exercise include a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, enhanced mental health, and improved quality of life. Incorporating these five components of physical fitness can help ensure you’ll get the most health benefits out of your workout routine.