Physical fitness is a set of traits that we all can have or are able to achieve in relation to our ability to perform physical activity.
There are, generally speaking, ten conventional physical skills. As follows: Cardiovascular, endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. We then are as fit as we are competent in each of these ten skills.
Physical fitness comprises two related concepts: General fitness (a state of health and well-being) and specific fitness (a task-oriented definition based on the ability to perform specific aspects of sports or occupations).
If you are the kind of person who regularly speaks to your health or your Health Insurance provider or generally is keen on health then you will know how important physical activity is.
Feeling good, looking fit, and leading a long and healthy life are things most of us want. Well, there’s a lot we can do to increase the chance that we’ll have them. The beneficial effects—both physical and mental —of good nutrition, physical fitness, and exercise are proven. You’re never too young, too old, or too out of shape to get started— you can benefit from regular physical activity and healthy eating habits.
Statistics show that obesity and the problems that are associated with it (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes) are on the rise. But statistics also show that preventive and remedial action pay off. Don’t wait for a doctor’s ultimatum—take the initiative. Exercise your way to fitness, and make healthy eating part of your daily life.
We’ve become a mechanically mobile society, relying on machines rather than muscle to get around. Physical activity is less a part of daily living, particularly for those with “desk jobs.” The convenience and availability of fast-food outlets and ready-to-eat meals are another detour on the road to good health. It’s time to get back on track.
A general-purpose physical fitness program must address the following essentials:
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Flexibility training
- Strength training
- Muscular stamina
- Body composition
- General skill training
However, along with these essential components, a comprehensive fitness program that is tailored to an individual will probably focus on one or more specific skills, and on age- or health-related needs such as bone health.
Many sources also cite mental and emotional health as an important part of overall fitness. This is often presented in textbooks as a triangle made up of three points, which represent physical, emotional, and mental fitness. Physical fitness can also prevent or treat many chronic health conditions brought on by unhealthy lifestyle or aging. Working out can also help people sleep better. To stay healthy it's important to participate in physical activity.
Other articles in this series:
- Physical Activity
- The Fitness Fomula
- Make Exercise a Habit
- Fitness Definitions
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Health Fitness Instructor's Handbook; Edward Howley, B. Don Franks
- President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research
- Skill-related fitness for sports success; Dr. George R. Colfer
- Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health
- Federal Citizen Information Center
- American College of Sports Medicine
- What is fitness?; CrossFit Journal
Useful Web Links
- Nutrition (8)
- Fitness (5)
- Health (5)
- Natural (4)