Physical Fitness is defined by the USDHHS as “a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity.” Physical Fitness is often divided into several different components.
Our bodies are made up of many different materials including water, fat, protein, carbohydrates, various vitamins and minerals. It is important to keep a balance of these materials. High amounts of fat, especially located at the waist can lead to high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.
There are several ways of assessing the composition of our body composition, including waist circumference and body mass index.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
This compares your body weight relative to your height. To determine your body mass index, you take your weight in kilograms and divide by your height in meters squared. Or, multiply your weight in pounds by 705, divide by your height in inches, then divide again by your height in inches (Both yield the same result, you may just be more familiar with certain units of measure)
Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint (USDHHS, 1996 as adapted from Wilmore & Costill, 1994). Flexibility helps prevent injury. Stretching can be one method of improving flexibility.
Muscular Strength is the amount of force a muscle can exert during a certain activity. To improve Muscular Strength, you must use your muscles against some form of resistance, whether it be weights or gravity.
Muscular Endurance is the ability of the muscle to work without fatigue. To improve Muscular Endurance, cardiorespiatory exercises such as running should be done.
Cardiorespiratory Endurance is the ability of your circulatory, and respiratory system to deliver the needed fuel to your body and to remove the wastes. Cardiorespiratory endurance can be increased by doing activities which elevate heart rate for a sustained amount of time. These activities include, walking, swimming, bicycling and running.