When you think of fitness, what is the first thing that involves mind? Running under a 10 minute per mile pace? Contrary to popular belief, there are 5 basic components to fitness that help blur the series between what you think of when you think of fitness and the actual professional Exercise Scientists think of when they think of fitness. Simply put, in order to get the most out of your energetic body, you will need to possess at least a simple degree of cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular versatility and endurance and have a healthy body composition.
What does that mean? Cardio-respiratory endurance is another way of saying aerobic fitness. This relates to the body’s capacity to soak up, transport and use oxygen during work or exercise. Aerobic means “with oxygen”. As your body is trained to endure a higher cardiovascular workload- meaning the heart and lungs have to work harder- those organs become more powerful and, in turn, increase a person’s aerobic stamina. A marathon runner would be a great example of someone who possess a higher level of cardio-respiratory endurance. Another great example will be a cyclist, such as those who ride in the Tour de France.
Although most of us won’t reach the amount of a professional runner or cyclist, we will definitely reap the benefits of exercising both our lungs and center by doing cardiovascular work. Any exercise that increases our heartrate can be considered a kind of “cardio”. Most doctors will advise that to be able to get the most benefit from cardio, you’ll need to exercise moderately to vigorously most days of the week for at the least 20-30 minutes every time.
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- Published on: 2015-05-04
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Muscular power and endurance tend to be thought of as the same exact thing. While I’ll talk about them together here, they are two very different components to fitness. Muscular power is your body’s ability to generate force at confirmed speed of motion. Muscular endurance identifies the body’s ability to repeat motions and withstand muscular exhaustion.
Or in layman’s conditions, muscular strength is your own body’s ability to lift something very heavy but only 1 time versus your own body’s muscular endurance as your own body’s ability to lift a weight frequently and without tiring. You are not better than the other. You need strength to perform duties such as lifting a package or moving a couch but you need endurance to lift multiple containers or to move that couch again and again and over again. For me, you will need both power and stamina to have not only a balanced body but also a fit one. When we move to the component of flexibility- the often ignored and overlooked component- we begin to lose people.
Flexibility on its own is not flashy and doesn’t earn gold medals. But without it, the body would breakdown. It could lose endurance and strength. It would lose the ability to run or cycle without pain or effort. Fitness would be impossible to achieve and more importantly, you would lose your current quality of life.
So what’s flexibility? Versatility is the number of motion around a joint or a mixed band of joint parts. Flexibility identifies the free movement of the joint and could potentially be limited by the amount of soft tissue, such as muscle, surrounding it. A good example of someone with a higher level of versatility will be a gymnast.
Notice, however that the gymnast has a combination of cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular stamina and strength as well as a high level of versatility. Every one of the the different parts of fitness work together in order to allow the gymnast to succeed at his / her craft. The ultimate component to fitness is that of body structure. There are two parts to body structure- that of fats mass which of lean muscle mass.