Five Components of Fitness

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There are five components of fitness According to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

What does it mean to be physically fit?

If you are not currently fit, try not to let yourself be overwhelmed with this information. Start with just one activity and work your way up to more. The importance of physical fitness cannot be overstated but…

Fitness does not have to be developed in a gym and no matter what activity you choose be sure to review the benefits of drinking water so that you will be motivated to stay hydrated.

Find activities you love and you will want to keep adding to your regular routine. There was a time when I thought that a statement like that was just hype, but since I found activities that I absolutely love, I can’t wait to get to the pool or shake my hips in my Zumba class.

The Components of Physical Fitness

Cardiorespiratory Endurance –

The ability of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system to supply oxygen and nutrients efficiently to working muscles in the body over a sustained period of time.

Improved cardiorespiratory endurance is one of the most important benefits of aerobic exercise training. Cardiorespiratory endurance is also known as aerobic fitness. Be sure you understand what is target heart rate and target heart rate in water.

Muscular Strength –

the ability of a muscle to exert force for a brief period of time. Upper-body strength, for example, can be measured by various weight-lifting exercises.

Reminder
Don’t fall for these fitness myths.

Muscular Endurance –

The ability of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to sustain repeated contractions or to continue applying force against a fixed object. Pushups are often used to test the endurance of arm and shoulder muscles.

Flexibility –

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The ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion. You need a certain amount of flexibility to move smoothly, avoid muscle tension, and keep your body protected from injury. Stretching is an excellent method of maintaining flexibility and is often the most overlooked part of a fitness routine.

Body Composition –

often considered a component of fitness. It refers to the makeup of the body in terms of lean mass (muscle, bone, vital tissue, and organs) and fat mass. Two people with the same height and same body weight may look completely different from each other because they have a different body composition.

An optimal ratio of fat to lean mass is an indication of fitness, and the right types of exercises will help you decrease body fat and increase or maintain muscle mass.

What Should A Workout Include?

How often, how long, and how hard you exercise, and what kinds of exercises you do should be determined by what you are trying to accomplish. Your goals, your present fitness level, age, health, skills, interest, and convenience are among the factors you should consider.

For example, an athlete training for high-level competition would follow a different program than a person whose goals are good health and the ability to meet work and recreational needs.

Reminder
Fitness does not have to be developed in a gym.

Your exercise program should include something from each of the five components of fitness listed above. Each workout should begin with a warm-up and end with a cool down. As a general rule, space your workouts throughout the week and avoid consecutive days of hard exercise.

Guidelines For Selecting the Right Kinds of Exercise

Here are some guidelines for selecting the right kinds of exercises to develop and maintain each of the five components of fitness.

SPECIFICITY –

Pick the right kind of activities to affect each component. Strength training results in specific strength changes. Also, train for the specific activity you’re interested in. For example, optimal swimming performance is best achieved when the muscles involved in swimming are trained for the movements required. It does not necessarily follow that a good runner is a good swimmer.

OVERLOAD –

Work hard enough, at levels that are vigorous and long enough to overload your body above its resting level, to bring about improvement.

Reminder
Find activities that you love!

REGULARITY –

At least three balanced workouts a week are necessary to continually enjoy the benefits of physical fitness and maintain a desirable level of fitness.

PROGRESSION –

Increase the intensity, frequency, and/or duration of activity over periods of time in order to improve. Some activities provide benefits in more than one category.

For example, in addition to increasing cardiorespiratory endurance, running builds muscular endurance in the legs, and swimming develops the arm, shoulder, and chest muscles. Of course, you don’t have to include all five components of fitness in every activity. Vary your exercise routine to include each component on a regular and recurring basis.

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