When talking about your overall health, you need to consider the fact that physical fitness plays a huge role. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that physical activity as an important factor to reducing the risks of heart and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, along with improved bone health and overall improved quality of life as we age.
The term “fitness” can be confusing, so we are going to take a look at what are different components of fitness and how they apply to your overall health.
Cardiovascular Endurance (Also Known as Aerobic Fitness)
This is the body’s ability to effectively and efficiently take in oxygen and deliver it to your body by the way of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Regular exercise that challenges your lungs and heart, that maintains or improves the delivery and oxygen can enhance cellular metabolism. These exercises and activities include running, walking, swimming, circuit training and other such workouts.
This is one of two muscle factors contributing to the overall health of the muscles. Muscle endurance is the ability of a particular muscle group to continuously contract against resistance. An example of this is the long-distance cyclist. These athletes have developed fatigue-resistant muscles with a high level of endurance through the continual pedaling motions. Other exercises that can give you the same type of muscle endurance are plank-type exercises to build up your core strength.
Muscular endurance refers to the fatigue-resistance of a particular muscle group is, and alternatively, muscular strength is the force a muscle group can produce in a single effort. A term used in strength training is “one-rep max”. A real-life example is that you should be able to lift a heavy box or easily stand up from a seated position.
Flexibility refers to your overall range of motion for any particular joint. Similar to muscle endurance and strength, it is about a specific joint. For example, you may be very flexible in your shoulder but have inflexible hips or hamstrings. Flexibility is important at any age—it plays a role in movement, balance, coordination, and agility. Having a full range of motion, you will reduce the possibility of injury, as well as enhance your overall performance.
Body composition refers to your ration of fat mass to fat-free mass. Because higher levels of body fat can be associated with negative health issues, maintaining healthy level of body composition should be part of any fitness routine. Luckily, improved body composition is usually a positive outcome from using a fitness routine to improve the above referenced fitness components.
When considering what are the different components of fitness, you can see that there are many different aspects that encompass your overall fitness level.
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