What Is Physical Fitness?

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What Is Physical Fitness?  What Is Physical Fitness? Muscular Strength and Endurance-  Strength and endurance are two separate components both of which contribute to physical fitness.  Your muscular strength is your ability to life or exert maximum force in a single effort.  Increase muscle strength through weight or strength training which increases muscle mass.  This increases your body’s capacity to burn calories which aids in weight loss and lowering your body fat ratio.  Muscular endurance on the other hand does not measure how “much” you can lift or move rather how “long” you can perform repetitive actions.  Both strength and endurance are important in maintaining healthy fitness levels


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National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is reaching the halfway point and many of you may find your self asking, “What exactly is the definition of physical fitness?”.  We all have our own idea of what it means to be physically fit.  For some people, fitness is measured by weight, others by strength and still others consider endurance a sign of physical fitness.  To determine how fit you are and find ways to improve your fitness level you must first understand that true fitness is measured by multiple components.

As you can see there are several factors that determine you level of physical fitness.  By eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise you will look and feel better while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems.

? Flexibility-  Defined as the ability to move your joints or muscles through their full range of motion.  Your flexibility is determined by a number of factors including joint structure, age, activity level, body composition and strength of opposing muscle groups.  This ability is one of the components of physical fitness and needed to perform day to day activities and enjoy an active lifestyle.

The Cooper test is a test of physical fitness. It was designed by Kenneth H. Cooper in 1968 for US military use. In the original form, the point of the test is to run as far as possible within 12 minutes. The test is meant to measure the condition of the person taking it and therefore it is supposed to be run at a steady pace instead of sprints and fast running. The outcome is based on the distance the test person ran, their age and their sex. The results can be correlated with VO2 Max. It is an easy test to perform on larger groups. The length of the run is considered to be that of a long distance run, since everything above 3 km is rated “long distance”—which means the runner will predominately use his “red”, slow oxidative muscle cells.

? Aerobic Endurance- While muscle endurance is needed for your muscles to perform repetitive actions, aerobic (cardiorespiratory) endurance is needed to perform physical activity and sports.  Specifically aerobic endurance is determined by the ability of your heart to move oxygenated blood through your body and to working muscles.  People with little or no aerobic endurance tire quickly when performing simple daily tasks such as climbing a flight of stairs or playing with their children.  Increase you aerobic endurance or stamina through regular exercise.  As your fitness level increases you will have to intensify or vary your workout to gain the maximum benefit.

 

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