Ever wonder exactly what we mean when we say “fitness”? Let’s take a moment to look at physical fitness the term most often used when considering exercise and physical activity.
Physical fitness is a person’s ability to perform activities while taking into account several body systems working together. Being more “fit” allows you to do things with less effort.
11 parts – 6 health-related, 5 skill-related
Physical fitness can be broken down into two broad categories. Health and skills.
The health-related parts of physical fitness include:
- cardiorespiratory endurance (the fitness of your heart and lungs)
- muscular strength (the fitness of your muscles in regards to strength)
- muscular endurance (the ability of your muscles to work for long periods of time without tiring)
- flexibility (the ability for joints to move through an adequate range of motion without injury)
- body composition (the make-up of body tissue. Body fat% is a customary measure)
- muscular power (the ability to generate force quickly)
The skill-related parts of physical fitness include:
- balance (the ability to stay upright while standing still or moving)
- coordination (the ability to use your body parts together)
- speed (the ability to move a distance in a short period of time)
- reaction time (the ability to react quickly when you recognize the need to)
- agility (the ability to change the position of your body quickly while maintaining control)
Why is fitness important?
Health-related fitness is linked with lower disease rates such as heart disease or cancer. It also has been associated with a lower risk of premature death. Health-related fitness may impact skill-related fitness but the opposite may not be true. However, things like balance and agility are important for daily function, especially as one age, thus helping older adults stay independent.
The best way to achieve total fitness is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Get the right amount and type of exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep. If you can do these 3 things your well on your way to good physical fitness.