In fact, there are five unique parts to getting physically fit, and each one is important in your health journey. Today, we’re taking a closer look at each body composition fitness component and sharing how you can create a well-rounded fitness approach that helps you look and feel your best from the inside out.
The 5 Components of Physical Fitness
The CDC explains that regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing certain health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. It can also improve your mental health and make it easier to perform everyday activities, which boosts your overall quality of life.
In addition, researchers have also discovered that people who prioritize fitness in their daily lives are also happier and more ambitious at work.
What Are the 5 Components of Fitness and How Are They Measured?
True fitness is a multi-faceted endeavour, encompassing each of the factors below. Let’s take a look at the 5 components of physical fitness.
Cardiovascular endurance measures your body’s ability to take in oxygen and effectively deliver it to your muscular tissues as you perform aerobic exercises.
Aerobic exercises include running, jogging, swimming, and biking. When you perform these workouts, your working muscles need more oxygen. To meet that need, your heart and lungs must work together to deliver that oxygen where it needs to go, transporting it through your arteries, veins, and blood vessels.
As you engage in regular aerobic activity, you’re challenging and developing those organs to work at peak performance. This can lower your resting heart rate and also makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Consistency is key to building your cardiovascular endurance. Try to engage in continuous (longer than two minutes) aerobic activity for at least 20 to 30 minutes per day, five to seven days per week.
Muscular strength refers to the power and capacity of your body’s muscular system. Specifically, it measures the amount of force one isolated muscle group can produce in one maxed-out effort.
You can build muscular strength through anaerobic exercises. Unlike aerobic exercises, these movements require little to no oxygen to complete, relying on your body’s stored energy sources instead. As such, they’re usually more intense and performed for a shorter duration. Examples include weightlifting, resistance training, sprinting, and High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT.
Bodybuilders aren’t the only ones who should emphasize muscular strength. Having strong muscles allows anyone to work, play, and live more comfortably and efficiently. A well-balanced strength training program can help you build all of your major muscle groups gradually, so you can feel strong all over and not just in one particular area.
As you build muscular strength, you’ll focus on performing short bursts of activity that push your muscles to their limits. On the contrary, muscular endurance is more focused on improving the stamina of those muscles. This helps develop the skill-related components of fitness in your routine, including agility, balance, speed, power, coordination, and reaction time.
With these exercises, you’ll use your muscles to perform contractions for an extended period of time. For instance, you may hold a plank for a few minutes to strengthen your core muscles, or you may engage in long-distance cycling, developing the muscles in your legs and glutes as you change inclines.
To build muscular endurance, start with light weights at higher reps. The lighter weight trains the fibres in your muscles while the higher rep range acclimates them to performing long periods of exercise.
It’s easy to overlook flexibility in your journey to become physically fit. However, it’s one of the most important body composition fitness components.
This refers to the range of motion you can complete around a given joint without experiencing any pain. Like muscle strength and endurance, it’s specific to each joint, meaning you could have ultra-flexible hamstrings but tight shoulders.
The more you gently stretch the muscles around each joint, the more flexible you will become. Without those stretches, your joints and muscles can become stiff, which limits your range of motion.
Workouts that incorporate periods of stretching, such as yoga, tai chi, and Pilates can improve your flexibility. As you loosen and develop these muscles, you’ll find that it improves your balance, coordination, and overall agility.
Body composition refers to your body’s ratio of fat mass to fat-free mass (including your bones, organs, and muscles). When you’re healthy and physically fit, you’ll have a greater proportion of muscle and a lower proportion of fat in your body.
Carrying around excess fat can lead to adverse health outcomes and increases your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. There are many different ways to measure your body fat composition, and certain scales include features that estimate this percentage. While age, gender, and genetics will contribute to your ratio, you can also make healthy changes to lower your amount of body fat, including adopting a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity.
Why Are the 5 Components of Fitness Important?
It’s important to understand and prioritize all 5 health-related components of fitness. By laser-focusing on one specific part of your fitness journey, you could under-develop others. For instance, prioritizing muscular strength in your upper body is important, but it’s equally vital to stretch the muscles around your hip joints so you can move easily and comfortably as you age.
Likewise, building muscular endurance is critical, but you should also focus on cardiovascular activities that improve your heart health and lower your body fat composition. This will make it easier to perform aerobic activities that can keep you healthy for life, such as walking and swimming.
What Are the Benefits of Health-Related Fitness?
By taking a health-specific approach to fitness, you can ensure longer-term outcomes. For instance, you may train for a marathon by focusing on running only for a few months. However, to feel your best for life, it’s important to keep a big-picture perspective in mind. Instead of honing in on one specific goal or result, think about movements and workouts that will build overall strength and endurance, powering your body to stay flexible and powerful as you get older.
The Importance of Staying Fit
Staying physically fit is essential to your overall health. Regular aerobic and anaerobic activity will help you develop strong bones and muscles, while also improving your respiratory system, cardiovascular performance, and overall health. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight helps you ward off certain health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and more, helping you live longer and feel better.
Not only does it help you build bodily strength, stamina, and capability, but fitness also contributes to your mental health. You’ll find that your mood, energy levels, and self-confidence all improve when you make physical activity part of your daily routine.
At Fitness Avenue, we make it easy to stay fit. From cardio and strength equipment to fitness accessories and weights, we have everything you need to make working out a top priority. Our selection is well-rounded and includes all of the machines and components you need to optimize every area of your physical health, from cardiovascular endurance to muscular strength and every step in between.
Feel free to shop all of our fitness products online and contact us today if you have any questions!