What do you think about when you hear the word “fitness”? Do you picture a room full of people in a spin class? Jogging through the park? Mixing your own healthy smoothies? While the methods used to get fit may vary, being fit and healthy isn’t just a new fad.
Being fit and maintaining a certain level of fitness is really good for you. By being active and eating the right foods, you automatically strengthen your body, mind and immune system.
What Is Fitness?
‘Fitness’ refers to a state of health and well-being which is generally achieved through proper nutrition, moderate to vigorous exercise (depending on your personal preference) and sufficient rest. Being physically fit means that your body has the ability and stamina to carry out daily activities without becoming fatigued.
These days there’s a lot of focus on health and fitness. But what exactly does physical fitness focus on? Does it mean that you have to cut out dessert at dinner? Do you have to join a gym and commit to a two-hour workout session every day? It can all be a little overwhelming at first!
When planning your exercise programme you want to make sure that it’s well-rounded. This is why it’s important to understand the components of fitness and how your workouts affect them. Let’s take a closer look at what those are.
The Components of Fitness
There are five components of physical fitness. Generally speaking, the key to good overall health is achieving an adequate level of fitness in all five components. These components include the following…
‘Cardiovascular endurance’ refers to how much oxygen your heart and lungs can deliver to your body while exercising for an extended period of time. It focuses on the proper functioning of your heart, lungs and blood vessels. These functions play an important role in ensuring that oxygen is transported to the tissues in your body.
By doing exercises that work all your major muscle groups you can increase your body’s cardiovascular endurance. Cardio-intensive exercises such as jogging, cycling and swimming are all great ways to improve this type of endurance.
‘Muscular strength’ refers to how much weight your muscles can move. If your muscles aren’t strong you won’t be able to move heavy things without becoming really fatigued. A lack of muscular strength can even increase your risk of injury.
You can easily improve your muscular strength by doing strength training and gradually increasing your weights (as well as your repetitions in each set) over time. Other exercises that focused on increasing muscle strength include squats, leg presses and bench presses.
‘Muscular endurance’ refers ability of your muscles to perform contractions for an extended period of time. This means the longer you can hold or carry a heavy object (like weights) the better your endurance level is.
To increase your muscular endurance you will need to perform many repetitions at a lower weight than you would use for increasing muscle strength. This is because lighter weights will train the muscle fibres needed for endurance, and the increase in repetition will lead to a longer period of exercise.
‘Flexibility’ refers to the ability of your joints to move through a range of motion. It is often overlooked when it comes to physical fitness but is actually extremely important. If your body is not flexible your muscles and joints will be stiff and your ability to move becomes limited over time.
A good way to test your flexibility is to lean forward and touch your toes. If you’re able to touch your toes with ease, your flexibility is good. If you’re unable to touch your toes, your flexibility is limited. A good way to improve flexibility is by stretching your body before and after your workout routine. Taking up yoga or Pilates are also great ways to improve flexibility.
‘Body composition’ refers to the amount of fat in your body in relation to muscle mass and bone density. To qualify as fit, men must have a body fat composition lower than 17 percent while women must have a body fat composition lower than 24 percent.
When we have a lower percentage of body fat and a higher percentage of lean muscle mass, our overall health improves. You can lose body fat by doing cardio intensive exercises like aerobics, running, cycling and swimming. Want to know more about the exercises that you can do to help others maintain a healthy body and for you to become a personal trainer? Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Personal Training Diploma is the best course which will help you to achieve this objective. For more information about this fitness qualification, read here.