Physical fitness is divided into different component categories that vary from person to person. Each person can be trained on these components of physical fitness to improve certain skills or performance in activities. Building on specific components can bring about the changes you desire in your fitness levels, mental health, and lifestyle.
Read on to know about and understand these physical fitness components.
What Are The Health-Related Components Of Physical Fitness?
Being able to run a kilometre or two or being able to bench press isn’t enough; to gauge how fit you really are, it’s imperative to tick all the boxes! Total fitness is defined by how well your body performs in all the components of physical fitness.
Here are the health-related physical fitness components:
– Cardiovascular Endurance
(Kal, mention a sentence on what this.) Fitness professional and nutritionist Neha Godiawala Shah says, “Improving cardiovascular fitness can reduce the risk of developing heart disease by increasing efficiency of our heart, lungs, and blood vessels! If cardiovascular training is effectively executed, your heart’s contraction strength, the elasticity of your blood vessels and the efficiency of your blood to carry oxygen will improve. If your cardiovascular fitness is good, you will be able to do all aerobic and strength training activities very confidently. The easier it is to pump blood through your body, the less taxing it is on your heart.”
– Muscular Strength
Muscular strength is a measure of the greatest amount of force that muscles produce during a single maximal effort! “Examples of exercises that develop muscular strength include resistance training, such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band exercises. Running, cycling, and climbing hills are also options. One of the most common ways to test muscular strength is the one-rep max: lifting as much weight as you possibly can during a given exercise for one repetition only. Examples are chest press, squats, deadlifts, etc. Lifting heavier weights and just a few repetitions, around 4-8, is strength! Research shows it can fight osteoporosis, prevent injury and counter bone loss,” Shah says.
She further adds that muscle helps burn fat, so the more muscles you have, the more calories your body burns, even at rest and over the course of a day.
– Muscular Endurance
Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle to repeatedly exert force against resistance. Shah says, “If your muscles contract in a similar pattern more than once, you are using muscular endurance. Multiple repetitions of an exercise, whether weight training, resistance training or increasing your cardiovascular endurance with activities like cycling, swimming or running are forms of muscular endurance.
An effective muscle endurance programme includes a good mix of exercises that put to use one or two limbs or joints. Examples include push-ups, planks, squats, lunges, sit-ups, etc. Whether it’s day-to-day life activities like household chores or you’re in the middle of a workout, your body needs muscular endurance. When you have a lot of it, you will not feel fatigued and will be able to withstand more while using less energy. If you compare both components of physical fitness, muscular strength is like sprinting, and muscular endurance is like running a marathon!”
Flexibility is the ability of your joints to move freely through the available range of motions, particular to each joint, for example, stretching individual muscles or performing functional exercises like lunges. Higher flexibility allows you to perform daily chores and movements like picking up objects from the floor, tying shoelaces, etc., easily.
– Body Composition
One of the most valued of all components of physical fitness, body composition refers to the ratio of lean mass to the amount of fat in the body. Lean mass of body tissue includes the total mass of muscles, bones, and organs. Also known as Body Mass Index or BMI, this ratio is the yardstick of physical fitness. Higher body fat increases the risk of heart disease and other health complications.
Tip: Pay attention to these physical fitness components to improve posture and muscle and joint functioning.
What Are The Skill-Related Components Of Physical Fitness?
Skill-related elements are nothing but fitness modules that pertain to specific tasks, for example, sports. These components of physical fitness help the performer improve in different areas like speed is important for football while the balance is important for gymnastics!
Learn about the skill-related physical fitness components:
This is both, a physical component as well as a skill-related component of physical fitness. Power refers to the maximum force a muscle or muscle group can apply but in the shortest period of time. In other words, it is the ability of muscles to exert maximum force in the shortest amount of time, like when you run or swim. This fitness component is related to cardiovascular endurance.
Shah says, “Agility is the ability to change direction quickly and effectively by maintaining proper posture. If you struggle to move side-to-side or find yourself off balance a lot, agility training will help improve your performance. It helps you to learn the skill of turning, moving limbs and pivoting quickly. Being agile can improve how you move day-to-day. Whether you want to improve your balance, flexibility, control, build your mind-body connection or improve your recovery time, agility training will get you there.”
This skill-related component is linked to agility and refers to the ability to move upper and lower limbs on the ground fast, like grabbing, pulling, or throwing objects. Speed training is important not just for athletes, but also for those whose jobs involve handling heavy objects.
– Reaction Time
Reaction time refers to the time taken to respond to external stimuli that are constantly changing, like in football, boxing, and such sports. Exercises to decrease reaction time include running on the spot at full speed or running on a treadmill.
This component is the body’s ability to direct itself and it’s a force towards a particular point. Accuracy, along with agility, come into play in sports like javelin throw, long jump, high jump, etc. Accuracy can be increased with concentration, meditation, and practice.
– Balance And Coordination
Constantly changing postures and movements require the body to stay balanced, i.e., upright. Body coordination refers to the body’s ability to move more than one body part together, effectively and efficiently.
Tip: Skill-related fitness components require higher levels of fitness than health-related ones.
Q. Why is it important to focus on all components of physical fitness?
A. Shah says, “Regular workouts or any physical activity promotes strong muscles and bones. It improves cardiovascular health, respiratory health and overall health. It also helps maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and reduce the risk for some cancers. There are lots of benefits if you prioritise physical fitness. It’s important to understand what fitness is, and how a person can go about getting fit. It’s important to focus on all components of physical fitness as it helps you in organising and executing your own well-balanced workout routine.”
Q. Healthy ways to improve on skill-related components of physical fitness?
A. Shah advises, “Work out with a goal of improving a specific skill. It is important to design fitness programmes that improve overall fitness as well as include exercises that support daily activities. So depending on what you do in your everyday life, there are certain skills involved where your fitness training can assist in making you better.”
Read more: Know What Makes Belly Fat Stubborn And How You Can Break It
Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator