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The Main Components of Physical Fitness Determine Your True Overall Level of Fitness
Is this really so important? Yes, Absolutely!
You need to know about the main components of physical fitness to be able to assess just how fit you really are. Exercise of some kind is vital to creating a healthy body that will support us in living a healthy lifestyle, but it needs to be the right kind for you. In case you're thinking this is a subject you can just skip over- please don't.
The importance of physical fitness, and understanding how the main components of physical fitness combine to contribute to our overall health shouldn't be underestimated.
Think how fantastic it feels to have a strong and flexible body, with a strong heart beating inside you - think back to your childhood to remind yourself just how great this felt. Learn now about the importance of physical fitness, and plan to achieve it by choosing an exercise routine or workout that includes all five components.
So what are the main components of physical fitness?
Aerobic or cardiovascular fitness
We'll look at each component in more detail
Aerobic Fitness, also referred to as cardiovascular fitness is the most significant indicator of the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system, and also the large muscle groups. Exercising aerobically means your body is taking in, transporting and using oxygen to generate energy to your muscles.
Any moderately intense exercise, involving rhythmic large muscle activity over an extended period is aerobic. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, skiing, rowing are all good examples. Learn more about the benefits of aerobic activity, and ask yourself, do I really know what is aerobic activity?
Flexibility and fitness, technically speaking this means the range of motion that you can move your limbs through. It's not just muscles that restrict your movement. Your skin, amount of body fat, connective tissue and joint conditions can all restrict your movement or flexibility.
As we age flexibility becomes a more important factor in maintaining our overall level of fitness. Lack of flexibility can contribute back pain and other forms of chronic or acute injuries, apart from the more practical difficulties such as bending to cut our toe nails, and of course paint them! I've found these are the best stretching routines to make a real difference whatever your level of fitness.
Muscular Strength is needed to carry out normal every day activities such as carrying the groceries, changing a tyre, digging the garden or lifting our grandchildren into your arms. We need muscular strength to deal with emergencies, avoid injuries and to live a fully independent life.
Muscular strength declines slowly as we age, but from around age 55 the decline accelerates. If we are to avoid losing our independence in later years due to the lack of muscular strength, we need to act now. including a strength training routine in our regular exercise schedule will help increase muscular strength or protect us from loss of it.
Muscular Endurance is achieved by performing a movement many times and gradually increasing the time, or number of repetitions until you run out of strength. Examples of muscle endurance building exercises are sit-ups, push-ups, distance running etc where the emphasis is on the ability to work longer not harder.
The last of the main components of physical fitness is Body Composition. There are several different ways of measuring body composition or BMI. They each give a statistical measurement which compares a person's weight and height, and give an estimate of the amount of body fat. BMI falling within 19-24.9 is considered normal or desirable. If your BMI falls outside this range then it's time to consider changes to both your diet and level of exercise. Further information about how to calculate BMI shows what other factors we need to consider besides just weight when assessing how healthy we are.
Time to take stock - introduce small changes - make a big difference By now you should have a better understanding of how, and why, you should structure your personal exercise routine to include each of the main components of physical fitness. We are aiming to maintain strong healthy bodies to carry us through the rest of our lives, not training to become super athletes!
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Welcome! I'm Tiffany - fifty something midlifer - 20 years experience! This site is packed with advice and information to help you get the most out of life by becoming, healthier, fitter, happier and ultimately taking you to a more satisfying future. C'mon, let's do it together!