What is Fitness?


Have you ever wondered what is fitness?  Fitness can be described as a condition that helps us look, feel and do our best.  That means your body’s ability to do what it needs to do from daily tasks, to take a brisk walk, to running a 5k.  There are many factors into your current fitness level such as age, skills, interests, and convenience.  Remember to start slow and build on what you have accomplished.  Physical fitness can be broken down into 5 categories based on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

  • Heart and lung endurance is the ability for the heart and lungs to do their job over a sustained period of time. Long runs and swims are among the methods employed in measuring this component.  Muscular strength is the ability of a particular muscle to be able to lift a certain amount of weight. Upper-body strength, for example, can be measured by various weight-lifting exercises.  The muscular endurance component is how many times someone is able to lift a particular object over a set period of time. Push-ups are often used to test endurance of arm and shoulder muscles.  Flexibility is the ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion. The sit-and-reach test is a good measure of flexibility of the lower back and backs of the upper legs. Body composition is Often considered a component of fitness. It is a particular ratio of fat to lean mass is an indication of fitness, and the right types of exercise will help you decrease body fat and increase or maintain muscle mass.

As we think about what is fitness we have to take into account all the aspects of physical fitness.  The goal of each is different.  Being good in one and not in another means that part of you is fit but part could use some improvement.  They key to understanding what is fitness it know your ability in each of the 5 categories: heart and lung endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

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