It is important to understand that being physically fit is more
than just having strong muscles, or having the ability to run
10 miles. To be considered physically fit there are five areas
to work on before one can be considered in good physical shape.
I have listed the five components of physical fitnees and general
information to help you understand each. These components along
with good balanced nutritional choices can help you to live a
long and healthy lifestyle.
5 Areas of Fitness
1. Body Composition.
A better way than using a scale to determine your fitness level.
Body composition is the relationship between all the lean tissue
in the body and fat mass. Fat mass is the fat throughout the body,
while lean body tissue is muscle, bones, organs and everything
else. The ratio of caloric burn between the two; 5 pounds of muscle
requires 175 calories per day to sustain, whereas 5 pounds of
fat requires only 10 calories per day to sustain( increased lean
tissue will improve your metabolism, or caloric burn). Having
a higher than desirable ratio of fat to muscle has a negative
effect on your health. Health experts define obesity as being
20% above your desired weight, or a body fat percentage of 20%
or higher for men, and 30% or higher for women.Normal body fat
percentages are generally 12-20% for men, and 16-25% for women.
Improving ones body composition is a combination of physical activity
to increase or maintain lean muscle tissue along with proper nutrition.
Body composition can be measured using a variety of different
tests, skinfold, bioelectrical impedance, hydrostatic weighing,
and circumference test. Personal trainers are a great way to get
these measurements, or ask your doctor.
The second of the needs is to strengthen the heart and respiratory
system.Cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 killers of men as
well as women. By improving this aspect of fitness you increase
your chances of a fit and healthier lifestyle. Aerobic fitness
is a function of the ability of the heart to pump oxygen to the
organs and the ability of the organs to use the oxygen. Exercise
training and improved oxygen use is a direct function of increased
stroke volume capacity. Increasing this aspect of fitness will
improve most functions of the body including muscular use. Steps
to improve cardiovascular fitness:(1)Stress heart rate from 60
to 80% of maximum. (2)Maintain this heart rate for approximately
30 minutes (3)Conduct this regimen 3 to 5 times per week.To determine
the maximum take 220-age then multiply that number by .60(60%)and
also by .80(80%) to get your range for cardio training.
3. Muscular Endurance.
The third component of physical fitness is the ability of a muscle
to be used for extended amounts of time or repetitions. This could
be the ability to hold a five-pound weight out in front of you
for five minutes or the effort required to lift that weight 25
consecutive times. This can be improved by consistently doing
similar movements and adding repetitions to increase the muscles
abilities.AGAIN: explained as to hold a particular position for
a sustained period of time or repeat a movement many times.
4. Muscular Strength.
The fourth area of being physically fit is the ability to exert
maximum force, lifting the heaviest weight you can move, one time(one
rep max). It is possible to have muscular strength in one area,
while lacking strength in other areas. Sometimes an imbalance
of strength in muscles can cause physical injury. This is why
it is important to train muscles according to opposite muscle
groups(quads/hamstrings, biceps/triceps, chest/shoulders, back/
abdominal). By doing this you will help avoid injury
The last area of being fit is the ability to move a joint through
its full range of motion; the elasticity of the muscle. This is
how limber you are. Flexibility decreases with age, thus creating
a stronger importance to this as one gets older..You can improve
this area by putting yourself through stretch techniques the encompass
the entire body or all major muscle groups. It is best to do stretches
at the end of a workout while the muscles are still warm. Doing
stretches while the muscles are warm will help prevent injury.
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This information presented is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (U.S.). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner regarding any suggestions and recommendations made.