Components of fitness encompass a variety of physical abilities that enable you to excel in virtually every sport, while simultaneously decreasing your risk for chronic illnesses over time.
Fitness includes cardiovascular endurance, body composition, flexibility, agility, muscular strength and endurance and power as components of fitness.
Cardiovascular endurance refers to your ability for your heart and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to muscles during physical activity, like running, jogging, swimming or cycling. Cardiovascular endurance can be built up with exercises like running, jogging, swimming and cycling.
According to Fit Day, cardiovascular endurance allows you to perform large-muscle exercises at moderate and higher intensities without feeling exhausted, as well as move freely during daily tasks and increase metabolic rates and calories burned more rapidly.
Studies of field tests of cardiorespiratory endurance often demonstrate stronger correlations to health outcomes than do other fitness assessments, such as musculoskeletal or flexibility tests. Exercise to increase cardiorespiratory endurance strengthen the heart muscle, lower resting heart rates, and decrease risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
Acquiring an excellent level of fitness will significantly decrease your risk for chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer over time. Furthermore, fitness improves quality of life and allows you to engage in daily activities you need or desire.
Body composition refers to the amount of muscle, bone, and water present in your body. You can measure this using various methods such as hydrostatic weighing, skinfold readings and bioelectrical impedance measurements.
Maintaining an optimal ratio between fat and muscle mass is crucial for mobility, posture, immune function and overall health. You can assess this balance through various functional movement tests or by using a body composition analysis tool.
Strength training (also referred to as resistance or weight training) is designed to increase muscle mass. Activities associated with resistance training or weight training may include lifting free or machine weights, using resistance bands and performing body weight exercises.
An effective fitness program should include at least two sessions of strength training per week, targeting each major muscle group (back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). A 10-minute warmup with light activities like walking will do before stretching each muscle group individually before beginning their strength workouts.
Start with one set of 8-12 repetitions of each muscle group, gradually increasing both repetitions and exercise intensity over time. A qualified fitness instructor can help you develop a safe and effective strength training programme; building muscle burns more calories than fat even at rest so can boost metabolism.
Explosive power refers to a sharp increase in force during movement due to faster-twitch muscle fiber contraction rates than slow-twitch muscles.
Explosive power is critical in sports that demand quick bursts of strength or speed, such as sprinting and jumping. Explosive power also plays an integral part in agility such as changing direction quickly or throwing the ball.
Exercises designed to develop explosive power include plyometric exercises like jumps and bounding, as well as weight training exercises like squats with added loads (loaded plyometrics). While some athletes have greater explosiveness naturally than others, with training methods including sport-specific exercises with gradually increased intensity in order to enhance physical performance. A qualified coach is invaluable here!
Reaction time refers to how quickly we perceive and process stimuli before responding. The quicker your brain can process and respond to stimuli, the faster and safer you’ll be in responding quickly and safely.
Complexity of stimuli also impacts response times; auditory stimuli tend to be processed more quickly than visual ones due to needing less information to process. Familiarity, preparation and expectation can all play an integral role in decreasing response times by decreasing how much processing needs to take place.
As an example, if a child comes running out into your path while driving, having quick reactions is crucial in order to avoid collision. This also applies when participating in team sports or boxing; increasing your reaction time will not only keep you safer but will make you more competitive too!