The Components of Health Related Fitness Explained
If you want to keep your body in shape and gain a better overall understanding of physical health and wellness, there are five different components of health related fitness that you should be aware of. We provide an overview of these along with a brief definition, and then highlight some actions you can take to better yourself in each of these different areas.
Reading articles about health and fitness information is a key ingredient to a productive, fit, and healthy lifestyle. So let’s take a closer look at each of these components one by one.
Muscular strength is pretty much what it sounds like; it is the amount of force a muscle can produce. This is simply the amount of resistance your muscles can overcome, and it is typically measured by the maximum amount of weight you can physically move, push, pull, or lift. The size of a muscle is typically in direct proportion to its strength, i.e. the bigger the muscle, the stronger it is. Muscle strength is best improved by performing weight training.
Muscular endurance is the ability of your muscles to produce a required amount of force over an extended period of time. With good endurance, your body can perform repeated movements without fatigue. Muscle endurance is best increased though cardio training, exercises such as running, swimming or biking. You can build specific muscular endurance by increasing the amount of time a muscle spends contracting against resistance. To gain endurance for any particular movement, you essentially want to repeat that desired movement over and over and over again.
This allows you to move body parts through a certain range of motion. It is the ability to use joints fully, or the capacity of a joint to move through its possible range of motion. Flexibility is one of the most important but also most overlooked components of health related fitness. Performing stretching exercises will help improve a person’s flexibility while also helping to prevent injury and soreness.
This is the body’s ability to undergo vigorous exercise activities over a long period of time. A weak cardiovascular system will prevent your heart and lungs from being able to supply enough oxygen, and therefore energy, to your muscles and, as a result, you get tired more quickly. This can be improved by performing cardio specific training, or exercises such as walking, running, swimming or any other exercises which increases your heart rate.
Body composition is the last component to health related fitness. This is the amount fat cells compared with lean cells in the body. This can be measured with a number of devices, each having their pros and cons. But some of the more popular ones are a skin fold caliper, bioelectric impedance analysis, or hydrostatic weighing. It is generally stated as a body fat percentage number. Body composition is enhanced by improving your diet as well as frequent exercise.
In summary, having good health and fitness information is vital in helping you reach your personal fitness goals. Now that you have learned about the 5 components of health related fitness you can focus on those areas that you feel need improvement. Remember that for overall physical fitness, you should strike a balance between muscular fitness, endurance, flexibility, body composition and cardio when performing your exercise routines.
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