Fitness is commonly misunderstood as a process of maintaining six pack abs or having a good muscle tone. But, it is actually about keeping the body in a good condition by maintaining moderate levels of energy and strength in the body. The following article is all about what an individual needs to know about fitness in order to stay healthy.
Physical fitness: Fitness is defined as a set of attributes that people have or achieve that help in their ability to perform physical activities. In simpler words, being fit is not about doing activities like running or lifting weights, but it is the ability to do them for long time, with high levels of intensity and having sustained levels of energy. It is about performing normal or high intensity activities without having a trace of fatigue.
Five attributes of fitness: As the definition says, there are attributes that constitute for fitness. The main components of fitness are broadly classified in to five types. Let’s look into them in detail.
1. Cardiovascular endurance: Cardiovascular endurance, also termed as cardio-respiratory endurance, is the ability of the body’s circulatory and respiratory system to supply oxygenated blood during sustained physical activity.
As our body needs more oxygen during increased physical activity, all the parts in the above mentioned systems like the heart, blood vessels, lungs, etc., should perform more in order to pump more oxygenated blood to different body muscles. Cardiovascular endurance helps in improving their ability to work more. By practicing cardiovascular exercises one can strengthen and increase the performance of these parts, so that they gain the ability to function well even during sustained physical activity.
Some of the exercises which can boost your cardiovascular endurance are brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming.
2. Muscular strength: Muscle strength is the ability of the body muscles to exert force against resistance. The more the muscle strength is, the more will be the amount of force exerted to do the activities with ease. We can improve our muscle strength by building and making them stronger.
The ability of the body to lift moderate amounts of weight against the gravity can determine the muscle strength of a person. Muscle strength can be gained by practicing weight lifting exercises like shoulder press, weighted squat, biceps curl and also by doing push-ups.
3. Muscular endurance: Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscle to continue the muscle strength. Good muscular endurance enables the muscles to work for long periods of time without fatigue.
Muscular endurance is highly essential for the people who play sports and for those who use their arms and legs to do activities. One can improve muscular endurance by performing regular exercises such as cycling, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc. But, unlike muscle strength exercises, they will not shape the muscles.
4. Flexibility: Flexibility is defined as the ability of body’s various joints to move through a wide range of motions. Improving body’s flexibility improves the ease of movement during different physical activities, reduces muscle tension, gives good posture, and helps prevent injuries.
In order to improve flexibility one needs to try exercises such as swimming, yoga, muscle stretching exercises, etc. that enable the body to become flexible in different angles.
5. Body composition: Body composition refers to the amount of fat and muscle that your body is made up of. Proper balance of fat and muscle mass needs to be maintained in order to stay healthy. Body composition depends on the exercise, food and lifestyle patterns of an individual. For instance, the exercises meant to improve muscular endurance result in reduced fat and enhanced muscle mass.
These are the five attributes which a person needs to achieve in order to be physically fit. Balanced physical exercises along with a healthy diet enables a person achieve physical fitness.