In today’s culture, fitness is most closely associated with metrics of appearance. We look at someone with a six-pack and make quick to say they are fit. While this can sometimes be the case, limiting fitness to matters of appearance undermines the much-needed conversation.
Physical fitness is a means of explaining how the body performs according to these five components:
1. Posture (Back health, Spine Health, Aesthetics)
Posture plays an integral role in our physical structure. It is the attitude our body assumes when stationary or in movement. It is always critical for us to pay attention to our posture; An inefficient posture can impair our health in future years; In contrast, tackling defective posture can serve to eliminate bodily discomfort and pains associated with poor posture (Neck pains, wrist pains, lower back pains, etc).
2. Cardiovascular Fitness (Zumba, Running Jogging, Swimming)
Cardiovascular fitness is by far the most dreaded one of them all, but also the most beneficial component. Training towards cardiovascular fitness calls for the circulatory system to optimize its performance. This consists of priming the heart and blood vessels to improve the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues of the body. This process also serves to extract carbon dioxide and other waste from our cells.
3. Flexibility (Yoga, Stretching)
Flexibility refers to our ability to move through the available range of motion at any given joint. Also, flexibility is an underestimated component of fitness, but the benefits are tremendous. This is not a matter of being able to do a split, but more so maintaining healthy joint for unhindered movement.
Flexibility plays a role in balance, coordination, and agility. It reduces the likelihood of tight joints/muscles related injuries. As we get older it is even more important for us to acknowledge this component of fitness. Flexibility slows-down the aging process and keeps the body young. Nobody wants to get older and walk with a shuffle or struggle to reach overhead or pick up items of the floor.
4. Strength (Weight Training, Body Weight Training, etc..)
Muscular strength is defined by the amount of power stored within muscle tissues. This strength varies across different muscle groups. In other words, one can have extremely strong arms, but weaker legs; or extremely strong core, but weak glutes. For this reason, a training program must be tailored to include all the major muscle groups.
Working towards muscular strength is achieved by lifting heavier weights. However, the extent to which one gets stronger is particular to individual needs. If the focus is on health, lifting heavy boxes off the floor or easily carry one’s own body weight is a good measure. Though, there’s no limit on how strong we can be.
5. Body composition (Body-Fat percentage, Lean Muscle Mass)
The body-fat composition is the last aspect of health-related physical fitness. Our body is comprised of two types of weight, Body fat percentage, and lean muscle mass. Body-fat is an understanding of the excess energy the body has accumulated and stored. While lean muscle mass is the weight of bodily organs. This composition is important because high levels of body fat are most closely associated with negative health concerns such as heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy body composition ensures longevity and peak performance. The good news is that by improving other components of physical fitness our body composition immediately ameliorates; Cardiovascular endurance works to help the body make better use of the excess energy. Strength training helps to develop lean muscle mass and reduce fat mass.
About the Author
Coach KZ is the Head-Trainer at Omni-Fitness Lawrence, KS and the founder of the ‘KZ FIT’ fitness app.
Before launching himself into the fitness industry, he worked with reputable companies like Nike, Boston Financials and DST Systems. In the summer of 2018, he obtained his license to be a personal trainer from the International Sport Science Association. Ever since he has been serving as an advocate for health and wellness for everyday people.