Health-related components of fitness include cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition. These areas of physical fitness are important for daily tasks and sports.
To develop all of these areas of physical fitness, incorporating regular exercise is necessary. Gainful can help you find a routine that fits into your schedule while improving each of these areas.
The heart and lungs are responsible for delivering oxygen to working muscles during physical activity. Boosting cardiorespiratory endurance will allow you to exercise longer and harder before fatigue sets in. It also improves your ability to perform daily tasks without becoming exhausted.
This fitness component, also known as cardiovascular endurance or aerobic fitness, measures your body’s ability to perform large-muscle, whole-body exercises at moderate to high intensities for prolonged periods of time. Examples include jogging, swimming and cycling.
Studies link aerobic endurance to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers as well as improved bone health and mental wellbeing. Regular exercise also promotes a healthy weight, which helps to maintain your health.
Muscular strength is the amount of force your muscles can exert in one maximal effort. It’s helpful when it comes to everyday tasks like lifting heavy items or climbing stairs. It also helps maintain bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. Exercises that help improve muscular strength include exercises like bench presses, squats and push ups.
Muscular endurance is the ability of your muscles to perform repeated actions without fatigue. It’s important for endurance activities like cycling, walking and elliptical machines, but it can also be improved through weight training by using lighter loads with more repetitions (like 20 or more reps). Flexibility is the ability of your joints to move through their full range of motion. It’s a key component for martial artists and gymnasts but can also be improved through stretching techniques.
Muscular endurance allows your muscles to work for longer periods of time without becoming fatigued. It’s important for activities like cycling, swimming, stair climbing, and long distance running. Increasing muscular endurance can be accomplished through low-intensity body weight exercises, such as push-ups and squats, or high-rep strength training.
However, don’t expect to see your muscles grow visibly larger through this type of training. Instead, it’s more of a physiological adaptation, such as the thickening and density of the muscle tissue, that occurs. This is what allows you to run a marathon or hold a perfect plank for minutes on end.
Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion without stiffness or discomfort. Athletes like gymnasts and martial artists are known for their flexibility. Flexibility is also important for reducing the risk of injury and enhancing posture and mobility.
While early studies influenced eventual large-scale fitness test batteries that included a sit-and-reach measure, these studies are typically too small to provide evidence of a relationship between flexibility and health outcomes. Additionally, because flexibility is specific to joints and muscle groups, it has not been theoretically linked to the same health markers as cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength. Instead, the chief benefit of flexible training has been relief from back pain symptoms and prevention of injuries. In addition, flexibility can enhance workouts by helping to reduce muscle soreness and increase performance.
Body composition refers to the amount of fat, muscle, bone and other vital tissues in your body. A healthy body composition enables you to function efficiently on a daily basis and reduces your risk for chronic health problems.
You can measure your body composition using a variety of methods that include smart scales, dual X-ray absorptiometry and skinfold measurements. Body weight and height can give you a general idea of your health, but they don’t paint a complete picture.
For example, two people may have the same weight and BMI, but one person has a high percentage of muscle while the other has a low percentage of fat. To get an accurate picture, you need to look at other metrics like a body fat analysis.