Physical fitness is the ability of the body to perform daily tasks dynamically without feeling exhausted. The scales by which one can assess a person's fitness are strength, stamina, body weight, and speed. Physical fitness improves performances and skills in specific activities, and so it is highly recommended for a holistic weight loss programme. Building the physical components will bring about the desired change in mental health, lifestyle and fitness level.
A Brief Summary of the Elements of Physical Fitness
Physical fitness is divided into two major categories, namely:
- Health-related fitness components
- Skill-related fitness components
Health-related fitness components offer a framework that is essential to maintaining good health. On the contrary, skill-related components pertain to fitness modules of certain tasks such as sports. Skill-related components describe a person's physical fitness based on what they can do. It can improve an individual's balance, speed, etc.
Health-related Elements of Physical Fitness
Health-related elements of physical fitness determine how the respiratory, muscular, and cardiovascular systems work. Let us discuss the five major health-related elements of physical fitness here.
Cardiovascular endurance is the body's ability to keep up with physical activities, which forces the cardiovascular system to work out for a prolonged time. A well-executed cardiovascular training program improves the strength of the heart's contraction, the efficiency of the blood to supply oxygen in the system, and the blood vessel's elasticity. Some of the cardiovascular exercises are:
- Brisk walking
- Playing tennis
- Playing basketball
Simple methods to assess the cardiovascular endurance of a person are by:
- The Cooper Run- In this, a person has to run for 12 minutes as far as possible.
- The Step Test- In this, a person has to keep stepping up and down for 5 minutes onto a platform.
Muscular strength is the ability of the body to carry and lift heavy things. It is the greatest force produced by the muscles in a single effort. When a person performs strength training for an extended period, he/she prevents the risk of nerve and muscle degeneration and thus improves the quality of life. The exercises which are helpful to develop muscular strength are resistance training like:
- Resistance band exercises
- Body-weight exercises
The common ways to test muscular strength are by doing one-rep of chest press, deadlifts, and squats with as much weight as possible.
Muscular endurance is the muscle's ability to exert a force against any kind of resistance repeatedly. By doing activities like lifting and carrying continuously, the muscles are used better. Thus, when the body develops muscular endurance, the person will not feel fatigued and will be able to withstand more even while having less energy. Forms of muscular endurance are multiple repetitions of resistance training, weight training, and performing activities like swimming, running, and cycling to increase cardiovascular endurance.
Flexibility is the joint's ability to move freely for a particular range of motion, including stretching or functional exercises like lunges. Flexibility is very important for both joints and muscles as the body would become stiff without it. The higher the flexibility, the more efficient the body will be able to perform daily movements and chores like bending, reaching out to things, etc. The method by which flexibility is measured is the sit and reach test, where the person has to sit on the floor and reach out to their toes.
Body composition refers to the fat in the body and is the ratio of the total amount of fat to lean fat. The body tissues in the lean mass include the mass of bones, organs, and muscles. To be more precise, a person who weighs 100 pounds with 25% of body fat composition will have 75 pounds of lean body mass. This is also referred to as BMI or body mass index, and the higher its value, the greater the risk of heart problems, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other health complications.
Skill-related Elements of Physical Fitness
As discussed earlier, skill-related components of fitness allow individuals to develop their performance in specific areas. A few of the skill-related components are:
Agility is the ability of an individual to change their direction by maintaining proper posture at a fast pace. It improves how you move on a daily basis. Agility training aids improve body flexibility and balance and builds the mind-body connection to enhance the recovery time. Agility improves through:
- Jumping rope
- Battle rope
- Tossing a ball and catching it
- Moving quickly up the stairs
Balance is the ability of a person to stay upright in any position, even when there is a change in posture or body movement. Yoga is a famous skill-related fitness component well-known for balance. If you are not ready for yoga yet, try simple balance exercises like standing on one foot with the other foot raised and balancing for a few seconds.
Coordination & Reaction time
Reaction time is the time a person takes to respond to any form of external stimuli. It measures how fast it takes for a person to see or hear and react appropriately in all activities. There are exercises to decrease the reaction time, and the most significant ones are running on the same spot at full speed and on the treadmill. The coordination fitness exercises are:
- Walk and talk catch
- Contralateral marching
- Dribbling basketballs
- Jumping rope
Speed refers to the ability of a person to move upper and lower limbs on the ground at a fast pace, like grabbing, throwing, and pulling objects. Speed is the measure of how quickly one can complete a task. The most common method to assess speed is to time run and sprint. Speed training is very important for athletes and people involved in handling very heavy objects.
Power is the force that the muscles in the body apply for a short period. Usually, physical power produces great amounts of force, even if it is only for a short span or burst. Power is related to cardiovascular endurance, and therefore power lifters have high one-rep maxes. The exercises which help to improve power are:
- Box jumps
- Heavy weightlifting
- Kettle-bell exercise
Accuracy is the ability of the body to direct oneself towards a specific point. It can be increased with practice, meditation and concentration. Agility is best paired to gain accuracy in games like long jump, javelin throw, and high jump in sports.
If you prioritize physical fitness, you will see many significant benefits in life. It is important to focus on the fitness components mentioned above to execute and organize a well-balanced workout schedule for yourself. GETFit360 offers a renowned holistic weight loss programme in Chennai that helps improve both skill-related and health-related physical fitness effectively under the guidance of qualified professionals.