Most of the people want to be looking fit in the modern era. Majority of them think that having sexy looks or lean belly is fit but they take fitness in the wrong context totally. Actually, improving your body muscle, maintain and improving your body health to keep yourself away from cardiovascular diseases, improving the health of your bones and bring flexibility into your body, these all come into fitness context.
Some people seem physical fit but internally they are weak. In fact “Fitness is all about your ability to perform daily mental and physical task with ease and still has enough power and energy to cope with routine challenges.”
There are many components of fitness but we are going to discuss 5 main components which everyone should possess to call himself a fit person.
5 Components of fitness
Followings are the main components of fitness that everyone should consider to have fit body.
- Body composition
- Cardiovascular Endurance
- Muscular Endurance
- Muscular Strength
Let’s discuss each point in discuss
Every person contains bones, organs, muscles, tissues and fat in the body but body structure varies from person to person, especially the percentage of fat in our body always differ. To get healthy and fit body you should always focus on body composition which is a proportion of body fats and fat-free mass. For example, if a person of 100-pound weight has 20% body fat than fat-free mass would be 80%.
A high percentage of fat in the body can involve you in health diseases like heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes type II. To improve your body composition you should start hitting the gym regularly, do cardio workouts.
Factors Affecting body composition
Sex: Natural women bodies have a high percentage of fat than men because of pregnancy thing.
- Men must maintain body composition lower than 17%
- Women must maintain body composition lower than 24%
Genes: these plays vital roles in body composition no matter you have natural lean mass or storing fat is in your genes
Age: when we hit old age, we start losing muscle and in result, our body slows down the metabolism process which ultimately burns fat slowly and we store more fat. This whole process disturb our body composition
Hormones: These are responsible for affecting water retention and body composition
Body fat in average men and women are 18-24% and 25-31% respectively
Flexibility simple refers to a range of motion around the joints effectively. Flexibility is important because of this you can perform daily task easier. Flexible body allows you to perform better in sports and doing workouts session. It helps in performing the action like walking, running, bending and lifting heavy weight easier. Without flexibility, movement of your body parts would be limited.
Flexibility also depends on different factors. Age, gender, body composition are few of them. Flexibility level varies from parts to parts. Some of your body parts may be very tight and cannot be stretched easily and some parts can be stretched and move easily.
Benefits of Flexibility
- Improve the range of motion of your joints and muscles
- Prevent you from injuries during physical activities
- Reduces muscle pain
- Improve the performance of athletes
- Reduces lower back pain
- Improve blood circulation
- Make you fast and agile
Test to check your flexibility level: To check your flexibility level, do a simple task. Stand straight and join you both feet together keep your both arms stretched along your body. Now lift up your both arm pointing toward the sky. Next slowly move you both arms toward your feet while bending your back and try to touch your toes. Don’t bend your knees while performing this action and keep them straight.
The more easily you can do above task, the more flexible your body parts are.
How to improve your flexibility
Flexibility can be improved by stretching the targeted body part. You can join stretching training class or can find stretching videos on the internet. There are three different types of stretching by which you can improve flexibility.
Static stretching is a type of stretching in which your move your targeted part or muscle in comfortable position for a specific period of time but the position should be challenging. Position holding time should be in between 10-30 seconds. If you are looking to improve flexibility but in a safe and effective way than you should opt for static stretching.
In dynamic stretching, you move your targeted muscle or part in challenging a range of motion and repeat this action for 10-12 times. The range of motion should be comfortable other you would end up hurting yourself. Due to its range of motion, dynamic stretching is preferred by athletes, coaches, sportsmen, physical therapists and personal trainers over static stretching.
Active isolated Stretching
Active isolated stretching involves a complete range of motion of your targeted muscle and joints. You hold end point and then return to starting position and repeat it to complete stretching. it is the best type of stretching as it prevent many athletes and exercisers from injuries.
Cardio vascular means how well your lungs and heart coordinate and work together for a long period of time while performing physical activities like cycling, Swimming running, jumping etc. Our body intake oxygen and supply it different body organs through rough of lungs, arteries and veins. The more efficiently and effectively body intake oxygen and deliver it to different body parts, the better cardiovascular endurance level is.
Cardiovascular exercises that ensure the involvement of heart and lungs and challenge them prevent you from heart diseases. Running, swimming, boxing are some of the many exercises that are beneficial for heart health.
How to Check Cardiovascular Fitness Level
There are many tests you can conduct to check cardiovascular fitness level but most common is cooper run. Copper run is a test in which you run for 12 minutes as far as possible. The more distance you cover in 12 minutes the better your cardiovascular fitness level is.
Many physical trainers prefer step test over copper run. In step test, you step on and off on 12 inch high bench for 3 minutes.
- Stand straight in front if 12 inch high bench.
- Step up one foot on the bench and than other foot in other second
- Step down one foot and than other foot.
- Repeat these actions for 3 minutes at least to perform step test.
The lower your heart beat is the more fitter you are.
Muscular endurance means how well muscle or group of muscles can exert force, consistently and repetitively against resistance for a long period of time. The more ability of muscles to do the same task for a long period of time, the better muscular endurance is.
Let’s take the example of a marathon race which requires a great level of muscular endurance. In the marathon race, runner performs the same movement for the number of time and for a long period of time. If his muscular endurance level would be low he may fell and may injure himself.
Test to check your Muscular Endurance
Sit-up Test is recommended to check your Muscular Endurance. The higher number if sit up you can do, the greater muscular endurance is.
To perform a sit-up test, follow these instruction
- Lie down on a flat surface in such a way that your knees should be bent making a right angle to the surface.
- Your feet should touch flat surface and your both hands should be on your thighs in the rest position
- Now, squeeze your stomach.
- Push your lower back flat and should be high enough so you would be able to slide your both hands along your thighs to touch the top of knees.
- While performing the above step, keep your neck and head at the static position, don’t move them and your back should be on the floor.
Improve your Muscular Endurance
Start lifting light weight at the right angle for a higher number of reps can be a useful to increase muscular endurance. When you become master on it start increasing weight and also increase the number of reps too.
Swimming, climbing stairs and doing exercises that engage your muscle can boost your muscular endurance too. These exercises won’t make your muscle bigger but you feel well internal satisfaction and you would be fit both mentally and physically.
Muscular strength means how much a muscle can produce force in one maximum effort. The heavier the weight you can lift in one rep, the greater muscular strength you have.
Little confuse between muscular endurance and strength??? You might be thinking that endurance and strength both are same but they are not. Lifting light weight and perform maximum rep that is endurance. Lifting heavier weight and perform few rep that is the muscular strength.
Muscular strength focuses on quality (heavy weight and few reps) and muscular endurance focuses on quantity (light weight and maximum reps)
Test to check the Muscular strength
You can perform a push-up test to check you muscular strength. There are many variations in push-ups but you can perform standard push-ups. The maximum complete pushup you can do in one rep, the greater muscular strength you have.
Benefits of Muscular strength
- Build lean mass
- Increase your metabolism and helps you in weight loss
- Improve the appearance of your body muscle
- You can perform daily activities with ease
- Burn more Calories
Improve Muscular Strength
Start lifting the heavy weight but perform few reps at right angel otherwise you may injure yourself. You should do exercises like squat, pushing, pulling and lunging to improve your muscular strength.
These are the main 5 component of fitness if one of these you don’t possess than you don’t fall in the definition of fitness. Fitness programs that not focus in any one of them won’t be effective for you in long run.