The 5 components of fitness you need to know

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The 5 components of fitness you need to know

When it comes to overall health, physical condition plays a major role. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links regular physical activity with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, some cancers, improved bone health, Research published in a 2014 edition of Focus Interface found that physical fitness improved mental and physical endurance as well as cognition.

Exercise really makes a good body...

Of course, most people understand that there are benefits that arise from prioritizing fitness. The trick is to understand exactly what "fitness" is and how a person can get in shape. That's where the five components of fitness come into play. These five components (cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, and body composition) are modeled after the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) physical activity guidelines and provide a useful tool for organizing and executing your own well-balanced exercise routine.

1. Cardiovascular endurance



The 5 components of fitness you need to know


Cardiovascular endurance refers to your body's ability to efficiently and effectively take in oxygen and deliver it to the body's tissues through the heart, lungs, arteries, vessels, and veins. even improve the efficient delivery and uptake of oxygen to your body's systems, improving cell metabolism, and facilitating the physical challenges of daily life.

Since heart disease accounts for approximately 630,000 deaths each year in the United States, it is particularly important to begin an exercise program that will improve cardiovascular fitness. Running and walking, cycling perfect, swimming, circuit training, are just a few of the many exercises to benefit heart health.

The ACSM physical activity guidelines require at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.

The key, of course, is consistency. It may seem like a lot, but 150 minutes comes down to only 15 to 30 minutes of exercise per day, five days a week, depending on how hard you try...

2. Muscle hardening


The 5 components of fitness you need to know

Long-distance cyclists provide a clear example. In order to be able to cycle long distances continuously, often on steep hills, cyclists need to develop fatigue-resistant muscles in their legs and hips. These fatigue-resistant muscles are evidence of high muscle endurance.

Similarly, holding a board to develop core strength is another example of muscular endurance. The longer you can contract your abs and keep your body in a stable position, the more resistance you will have through your hips, abs, and shoulders.

However, it is important to realize that muscle resistance is specific to the muscle group. This means that you can develop high levels of endurance in some muscle groups (such as cyclists who develop resistance in their legs) without necessarily developing the same level of endurance in other muscle groups. 

For example, for health reasons, you may want to develop enough strength to simply climb several flights of stairs or lift and transport groceries from your car to your home. But if you want to become an endurance athlete, able to compete in sports that require continuous muscle contraction, such as obstacle course racing, CrossFit, or cycling, you may want to concentrate more on training regimens or activity to make you a better athlete.

3. Muscle strength

The 5 components of fitness you need to know


While muscular endurance refers to the fatigue resistance of a particular muscle group, muscle strength refers to the amount of force that a particular muscle group can produce in a single effort. In terms of strength training, it is your maximum of one repetition.

However, if you want to develop muscle mass or be able to lift heavier weights at the gym, your training regimen should focus more on heavy weight lifting.

It is possible to improve muscle strength and endurance at the same time, but it is important to select a set and repetition schedule that fits your goals. you should lift heavier weights and fatigue your muscles with each set. Usually, this means doing sets with fewer total repetitions. However, if your goal is to improve muscle endurance, lighter weights and higher repetitions are usually the most efficient route...

This can be done in conjunction with, or independently of, cardiovascular training. For example, circuit training routines that combine strength and cardio exercises in a single workout can make your exercise program more efficient.

4. Flexibility

The 5 components of fitness you need to know


Flexibility, Like muscle strength and endurance, flexibility is specific to the joint. For example, you may have very flexible shoulders, but hamstrings or hips that are tight and inflexible.

And as you age, the importance of flexibility becomes even clearer. Think about older people - they often walk randomly or have trouble getting their arms over their heads. making it more difficult to perform everyday activities, or simply moving effectively to regain balance if they begin to fall.

While it is not possible to completely stop the aging process, protecting your joints and maintaining mobility can help you stay well into your golden years.

The ACSM physical activity guidelines require that adults participate in flexibility exercises at least two to three days a week.

You can do this through static stretching, where you can hold a stretch for 10 to 30 seconds at a time, or through exercises that take you through dynamic stretching exercises, such as bar, yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates.

5. Body Composition

Body composition or the ratio of fat mass is the final component of health-related fitness. Since a high level of fat mass is associated with negative health consequences such as heart disease and type II diabetes.

If you go to the gym regularly, do cardiovascular and strength training, and work on your flexibility, you are likely to develop muscle mass (a portion of this lean mass) while reducing fat mass. The combined effect is an improved lean mass ratio and body composition.

you need to know what your starting point is, to see improvements in body composition. Weighing yourself on a scale will not work, as weight alone does not tell you anything about your internal tissue composition. Instead, talk to a trainer about the body fat percentage test or consider purchasing a scale that uses bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) to calculate your body fat percentage. You can also take your own measurements and connect them to a body fat percentage calculator.

The results only estimate that usually fall within three or four percentage points of your actual body fat percentage, so it is important not to get too caught up in the specific numbers. That said, you can use them as a barometer to monitor changes and make sure you are seeing improvements over time.

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