Everyone has an idea of what a fit person looks like. For some individuals, being physically fit means having well-toned muscles in men and an hourglass figure in women. However, physical fitness is more than mere appearances.
To give you a better understanding of a physically-fit individual, you should learn the 5 major components of physical fitness.
1. Cardiovascular Endurance
This component refers to the ability of the human body to get oxygen from the air and deliver it to the rest of the body.
The optimum function of both the lungs and the heart will help ensure that cells and tissues receive their oxygen. This is especially true during periods of exercise or any other physical activity.
Exercise requires more oxygen delivered to the muscle tissues. Your heart and lung’s ability to provide oxygen will help you keep up with the needs of the muscles so they will not get tired easily.
2. Muscular Endurance
This refers to the ability of the muscles to sustain their contractile functions for longer periods of time. For example, when you lift weights, you only contract your muscles for several seconds.
This is not muscular endurance. What you can do is to start lifting lighter weights. As you develop muscle strength, you also allow them to become more efficient in their contractions. Over time, you will be able to lift heavy objects a lot longer without feeling muscle strain.
3. Muscular Strength
Your ability to lift and carry heavy objects are a reflection of the strength of your muscles. When doing strength training, it is best to start with lighter weights.
As you progress in your fitness regimen, you can start adding more load to the muscles. This will help initiate changes in the anatomy of the muscles, allowing them to grow stronger and bigger.
With each increase in the weights that you lift, you should always aim for fewer repetitions. This will help avoid injuring your muscles from overuse.
Many people do not consider flexibility as an important component of physical fitness. This relates to the function of your joints.
Since all forms of exercise require the movement of certain parts of the body, it is critical for the joints of these body parts to be as flexible as possible. Flexibility training allows you to move your body through the entire range of motion of your joints without stiffness or pain.
5. Body Fat Composition
This component of physical fitness refers to the amount of body fat that a person has. This helps provide an idea of the individual’s lean body mass.
For instance, if an individual weighs 200 pounds and has a body fat composition of 25%, then you can say that this person has a lean body mass of about 150 lbs.
The ideal body fat composition for men should not be more than 16%. Women should have a body fat composition not exceeding 23 percent.
Physical fitness is more than having a great look. It includes the body’s ability to deliver oxygen, perform everyday tasks without getting fatigued, and being able to move with ease. Having the ideal body fat composition also helps define what a fit individual should be.