What does Fitness Means?
This description goes beyond being able to run fast or lift heavy weights. Despite being important, these attributes only address single areas of fitness. This article provides details of the five main components of physical fitness.
How do you tell if someone is physically fit?
Cardio respiratory fitness
Being physically fit depends on how well a person fulfills each of the components of being healthful.
Cardio respiratory fitness
Cardio respiratory endurance indicates how well our body can supply fuel during physical activity via the body's circulatory and respiratory systems. Activities that help improve cardio-respiratory endurance are those that cause an elevated heart rate for a sustained period.
These activities include:
People who regularly take part in these activities are more likely to be physically fit in terms of cardio-respiratory endurance. It is important to begin these activities slowly and gradually increase the intensity. Exercising increases cardio-respiratory endurance in a number of ways. The heart muscle is strengthened so that it is able to pump more blood per heartbeat.At the same time, additional small arteries are grown within muscle tissue so that blood can be delivered to working muscles more effectively when needed.
Muscular strength muscular strength is "the ability of muscle to exert force during an activity."
There are a number of ways to measure muscular strength. Generally, lifting or pushing something of a set weight in a prescribed position and comparing the results against any given population is the best way.
In general, if a muscle is worked consistently and regularly, it will increase in strength. There are various ways of putting your muscles through rigorous activity, but anything that works a muscle until it is tired will increase muscle strength over time.
How does muscle structure change with exercise? Muscles consist of elongated muscle cells. Each muscle cell contains contractile proteins - actin and myosin - that give the muscle its strength. These fibers contract together, producing the so-called power stroke. The total force depends on the number of these units contracting in unison.
To build muscle, the following criteria must be met:
muscles are regularly exercised
the individual has taken in enough protein
The exact mechanism of muscle building is not fully understood, but the general principles are well known. Training causes the muscle cells to expand and there is an increase in actin and myosin production.
Muscular endurance Fitness can include muscular endurance, which is the ability of a muscle to continue exerting force without tiring. As mentioned above, strength training builds bigger muscles. Endurance training, on the other hand, does not necessarily generate muscles of a larger size.
This is because the body focuses more on the cardiovascular system, ensuring that the muscles receive the oxygenated blood they need to keep functioning. Another important change in muscles that are specifically trained for endurance concerns the different types of muscle tissue - fast twitch and slow twitch fibers:
Fast twitch fibers - contract quickly but get tired quickly. They use a lot of energy and are useful for sprints. They are whitish in color as they do not require blood to function.
Slow twitch fibers - best for endurance work, they can carry out tasks without getting tired. They are found in core muscles. These fibers appear red as they rely on a good supply of oxygenated blood and contain stores of myoglobin.
Different exercises will promote fast twitch fibers, slow twitch fibers, or both. A sprinter will have comparatively more fast twitch fibers, whereas a long distance runner will have more slow twitch fibers.
Body composition Body composition measures the relative amounts of muscle, bone, water, and fat. An individual can potentially maintain the same weight but radically change the ratio of each of the components that make up the body.
For instance, people with a high muscle (lean mass) ratio weigh more than those with the same height and waist circumference who have less muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat.depends on the activity that the individual is being trained to carry out.
Flexibility Flexibility is the range of movement across a joint. Flexibility is important because it improves the ability to link movements together smoothly and can help prevent injuries. Flexibility is specific to each joint and depends on a number of variables, including the tightness of ligaments and tendons.
Flexibility is increased by various activities, all designed to stretch joints, ligaments, and tendons. There are three types of exercise that are generally utilized to increase flexibility:
Dynamic stretching - the ability to complete a full range of motion of a particular joint. This type of flexibility is used in standard "warming up" exercises as it helps ready the body for physical activity.
Static-active stretching - holding the body or part of the body in a stretched position and maintaining that position for a period of time. One example of static-active stretching is the splits.
What does physically fit mean overall? In general, fitness means different things to different people. The important take home message is that embarking on any regular exercise will be of benefit to your health. The more exercise that is carried out, the healthier an individual will look and feel.