Physical fitness, also known as fitness, is the state of being healthy and fit and, more specifically, the capacity to do physical activities and parts of everyday physical activities. Physical fitness can be achieved through proper diet, moderate-intensity physical activity, adequate rest and proper nutritional support. Physical fitness improves over time and a person can achieve his or her fitness goals by maintaining a regular fitness regime and making changes to lifestyle if necessary. It is important to choose an appropriate fitness program that is based on your own particular needs and capabilities, interests, goals, current health status, age, gender and level of comfort. The most common types of fitness programs include aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility training, resistance training, and strength training/aerobic fitness. A fitness program that combines all of these components can be the most beneficial.
Aerobic fitness, otherwise known as cardiovascular fitness, involves the movement of the heart and lungs, requiring high levels of both efficiency and force. High-intensity aerobic fitness (HIFU) increases the efficiency of pumping blood by increasing the amount of oxygen consumed per minute and improves the heart’s pumping efficiency. An individual’s resting heart rate, known as the RMR, can also be improved by performing high-intensity aerobic exercise (such as long-distance running, cycling, or swimming). Research has shown that HIFU improves overall fitness after just one session.
Flexibility and strength-training are the next two components of physical activity. The purpose of strength training is to increase a person’s functional strength, but flexibility develops a person’s resilience to injury. Most common ways to improve one’s flexibility include stretching (which involves deep-tissue stretching of muscles and tendons), resistance training (for flexibility, strength, and power) and body weight (which involve using muscle strength against the weight of the body). These activities improve core stability, muscular power, range of motion, balance, muscular endurance, muscular efficiency, and body awareness.
The last two components of fitness are body composition and endurance. Body composition is an estimate of calories (based on weight and height) and composition based on body weight and height. Body composition is the common measure of an individual’s fitness level, and it is the foundation for determining a person’s ideal body mass index (BMI). Most common tests of body composition include body fat, muscle, bone, and water volume. Exercise-induced muscle loss is usually the result of low body composition; however, body composition can also be impacted by diet, aging, gender, and genetics.
Physical performance is the last two components of fitness. This includes the ability to perceive the environment, perform physical activities, maintain stability, manage stress, and execute movements in safety. A test of mental fitness, or self-confidence, is typically measured with standardized psychological tests called the Myers-Brigg test, or the MMPI. Health-related fitness training generally involves cardiovascular, muscular strength training, and aerobic fitness testing. Resistance training is the most commonly used training approach for overall fitness and health.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain your current fitness level, a fitness trainer can help you reach your goals. If you’re not sure whether you have an optimal fitness level or aren’t very good at certain exercises, consider enlisting the services of a local gym or health club to help you get on track. If you’re an athlete or are concerned about your health, consider hiring a personal trainer to help you maintain a high level of physical fitness.