What Is Fitness?
Physical fitness means being in good physical condition and using your body’s resources efficiently. The word “physical” in physical fitness, therefore, does not mean that the activity must be strenuous. Physical fitness should be equated with the healthy functioning of the human body. The word “fit” in physical fitness has also come to imply being healthy and attractive. More importantly, fitness implies maintaining good health.
Healthy fitness is a condition of good health and well being and, more precisely, the ability to do activities, jobs and parts of daily life well. Healthy fitness is usually achieved through regular physical activity, proper nutrition and adequate rest. The definition of “healthy” differs for every person, because everyone has different needs. Generally, however, healthy people have balanced fitness needs. The term “health-related” is sometimes used to refer to these needs. In general, health-related quality of life is improved through fitness activities and by conforming to general healthy habits.
The most widely accepted definition of fitness is adapted from the work of Associate Professor Robert McKenzie of the University of Oregon, who explained it this way: “Exercise that develops and strengthens the tissues of the body, while promoting well-being through improved health-related measures (physical fitness)”. According to this definition, fitness involves being able to move the body adequately as part of a wider range of movement, with minimal stress or effort. The definition does not exclude the possibility of achieving superior fitness through participation in structured exercise programs; it only recognizes that improvement occurs when the individual combines an appropriate level of fitness with participation in a regular exercise program and has time for rest and relaxation. For this definition to make sense to the majority of people, it is important to understand its six components.
Physical fitness means being able to move your body. Moving exercises may include walking, running, bicycling, skating or other activities that involve moving your limbs over a variety of surfaces. Moving is the first component of the definition. Next, the definition includes the ability of an individual to continue those activities without becoming tired. Therefore, an individual who is fit does not need to necessarily be out of shape.
Mental fitness refers to the capacity to be able to sustain the activity or mental demands of daily life, which may include concentration, patience, tolerance, and the ability to concentrate on a task. These activities do not necessarily require the use of the upper extremities or the brain. The definition also includes the capacity to mentally engage in activity that is demanding and of substantial complexity, without damaging the muscles or joints. Individuals who are fit have greater control over their bodies and are able to physically handle day-to-day demands.
Finally, functional fitness refers to the ability of an individual to perform the basic functions of survival, which are needed to live: breathing, eating, seeing, hearing, walking, and standing. These activities must be performed without damaging the body. An individual who is fit has greater control over their body and can maintain self-care routines even under stress. The definition of fitness offers many suggestions for individuals to become healthier and more fit. Individuals can improve their health-related quality of life by engaging in regular fitness activities.