Many people strive to be fit. Fitness, after all, is synonymous with health.
Having a high level of overall fitness is linked with a lower risk of chronic disease, as well as a better ability to manage health issues that do come up. Better fitness also promotes more functionality and mobility throughout one’s life span.
And in the short term, being active can help your day-to-day functioning, from better mood to sharper focus to better sleep.
Simply put: Our bodies are meant to move, and they tend to function better when we’re more fit.
That said, it’s also important to know that there are many different ways to be fit (think of a ballet dancer versus a bodybuilder or a sprinter versus a gymnast). And fitness does not have a singular “look.” In fact, appearance can’t necessarily tell you about someone’s habits, whether they’re actually physically active, or even whether they’re fit at all.
Five components of physical fitness:
Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Your VO2 max is a commonly used measure of this. It’s your body’s ability to uptake and utilize oxygen (which feeds all of your tissues), something that is directly related to your health and quality of life.
Musculoskeletal Fitness: This includes muscle strength, endurance, and power.
Flexibility: This is the range of motion of your joints.
Balance :This is your ability to stay on your feet and steady to avoid falls.
Speed: This is how quickly you can move.
Physical fitness is as a set of attributes that people have or achieve that determines their ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue. Cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, body composition, and flexibility are components that can be used to measure fitness.
In the real world, fitness translates to function.
Exercise is distinct from fitness because exercise is what you do to improve your fitness.
Types of Fitness:
There are a few main components of fitness, all of which are important for building a well-rounded exercise routine.
Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Exercise
Aerobic exercise is the foundation of every fitness program and for good reason. Aerobic exercise includes activities like brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, aerobic fitness classes (like kickboxing), tennis, dancing, yard work, tennis, and jumping rope.
Strength training is an important way to improve mobility and overall functioning, particularly as you get older. As you age, you lose muscle mass, which can have a significant impact on the quality of life. Strength exercises build bones and muscle, and more muscle protects your body from falls and the fractures that can happen in older age.
Activities that answer this call include lifting weights, using resistance bands or your body weight, carrying heavy loads, and even strenuous gardening
Flexibility and Mobility
Flexibility and mobility are both important components of healthy movement. Flexibility exercises are important for physical fitness.
Flexibility refers to the ability of tendons, muscles, and ligaments to stretch, while mobility refers to the body’s ability to take a joint through its full range-of-motion.
Rest and Recovery
Building in rest and recovery days allows time for your body to repair the natural damage that occurs to muscles during exercise. Exercise, by definition, puts stress on the muscles and the body. The repairing or healing of that stress is how you get stronger (and fitter). But you need to give the body adequate rest after a workout for that recovery process to happen.
Recovery days can include no physical activity at all or they may look like an active recovery day, which means doing low-intensity, low-impact forms of exercise, such as walking or gentle yoga.
Health Benefits of Exercise
Exercise Boosts Your Mood
Exercise Is Good for Sleep
Exercise Promotes Long-Term Health
Fitness and Exercise Help You Manage Chronic Disease