Components of Physical Fitness: Definition
Fitness refers to the group of abilities, skills, and body development modules which allow us to perform a wide range of activities. Being fit for one set of activities does not make you fit for others, much like sports. For instance, a person who plays good football may not play cricket up to the standards. This is because his body and mind have not practiced the skills required for cricket as much as he did for football. For convenience, fitness programs are decided in accordance with the various components of physical fitness, like agility (falling under skill-related Fitness) or body composition (falling under health-related fitness).
Even if not clearly demarcated, there are various components of physical fitness .i.e. Fitness is divided into specific categories of components. These components of fitness vary in each person and they can be trained accordingly to learn the desired activities, be it sports or even certain life skills.
Our life skills demand both our mental and physical faculties. A fitness module should be so designed that one’s deficiencies (physical and mental) are overcome, and it is those specific components of physical fitness which bring about the changes we desire in our lifestyle and way of living.
But what are these components of fitness that we keep talking about? Every decent website dedicated to fitness talks about these components, mentions them in passing, and at the end of the page, you are still unclear about its nitty-gritty. Don’t worry! We got you covered. Read along and you will grasp the idea of physical fitness better, focus on what you need and your desires shall be fulfilled.
How many components of fitness are there?
To know and understand your body, its mechanism, and its deficiencies, it is important to understand the various components of this natural machine. Medical science has demarcated the various components of fitness into two categories:
- Health-related components of fitness and
- Skill-related components of fitness.
Health-related components of fitness:
Health-related components of fitness are mostly life hacks. In other words, the various components of fitness which are imperative in executing our day-to-day activities are the health-related components of fitness. These are the various categories of health-related components of fitness:
- Cardiovascular Fitness
- Muscular Strength
- Muscular Endurance
- Body Composition
1. Cardiovascular Fitness:
Cardiovascular Fitness or Endurance is perhaps the most crucial element out of all components. It is the ability of the body to deliver oxygen to the muscles or the body parts which are under strain or pressure. In other words, the ability of the brain and the lungs to reach oxygenated blood to all those body parts that are currently in need of more oxygen because they are working. For instance, when you are running, your calf muscles, stomach muscles, and your forearms undergo the most amount of strain. Cardiovascular Endurance refers to reaching freshly oxygenated blood to all the required body parts without fatigue. This fitness is increased by the proper exercise of the heart and lungs. Running and swimming are the best methods.
2. Muscular Strength:
As opposed to the general idea, muscular strength is the total amount of force a muscle can produce in a single maximal effort. The muscular strength is calculated when it is at its most contracted state. The span of your muscle filaments and the capacity of nerves to actuate muscle strands are identified with muscle strength. Strong muscular strength is not just how much weight you can pull at a given point in time. It has got to do with the overall muscular strength of your body, body alignment and so on. Muscular Strength is increasingly linked to Muscular Endurance.
3. Muscular Endurance:
The ability of a muscle or a group of muscles to sustain heavy contractions over an extended period of time is called muscular endurance. You might have noticed the very first day after you start exercising, you experience muscle pains and aches all over your body. This is because the muscles of your body are not used to such contractions and expansions over such extended periods of time. With age, muscular endurance and strength begin to deteriorate and various physical components of fitness are required to put in use to prevent that. Low levels of muscular strength and endurance give rise to musculoskeletal problems and also joint pains.
The ability or the maximum range of movement over a particular joint in the body is called flexibility. This component of physical fitness is at times shared by Skill-related components as well. Our body parts move around joints. They exhibit movements, horizontal and vertical, the angles of which depend on the flexibility of each body. For instance, when you stretch, your legs try to make a perfect 180 degrees between them. The muscles attached to the joints have a specific angle to which they can move. Increasing it helps with your flexibility. Exercises of everyday life that wind up simpler with sufficient flexibility are tying shoes, bowing down to get objects from the floor, putting on overhead pieces of clothing, and brushing hair.
5. Body Composition:
This component of fitness is currently one of the most valued. It is the ratio of the lean mass of the body tissues that includes the mass of organs, muscles, bones to the amount of fat in the body. This ratio is known as the Body Mass Index and is the yardstick of fitness. People with optimum body composition are generally the most physically fit people as more fat implies and increases heart risks and failures. Accumulation of extra fat underlying the tissues leads to decreased blood circulation or at times the extra pressure on the organs leading to internal organ hemorrhage. Thus maintenance of this fitness component is of utmost importance.
This physical component is also shared by the skill-related elements. Power, as defined in Sports’ components of physical fitness, refers to the maximum force a muscle (or a group of muscles) can apply in the shortest amount of time possible. The power of our body is not muscular power as the name might suggest. It is the ability of each muscle to exert its maximum force in the shortest period of time. Power is understood when we run or swim and it is intricately linked with Cardiovascular Endurance.
Keeping these components of fitness in mind shall help keep our bodies in shape, and prevent fatal diseases, the rates of which are increasing exponentially throughout the world. Health-related elements give our bodies a nice posture, increase our general attractiveness, our organs, muscles, tissues and bones work in greater communion and we adhere to the definition of physical fitness.
Skill-related components of fitness:
The next 5 components of fitness fall under the Skill related categories. The skill-related elements refer to those fitness modules and definitions which pertain to some specific task, for instance, sports. While sports is an umbrella term, these physical components are dedicated to certain kinds of sports. For instance, the component of balance is more necessary for gymnastics while strength and speed are more necessary for football or baseball players. Let’s see what are the various skill-related components of physical fitness:
- Balance and Coordination
- Reaction Time
Agility or dexterity is the capacity to move and alter the course and position of the body rapidly and viable while under control. It requires fast reflexes, coordination, adjust, speed, and right reaction to the evolving situations. It is the most important part of the skill set of fitness. Agility is fundamental and central to any heavy task that maybe dance, sports, weightlifting and so on. In other words, agility is the prerequisite condition for any work which demands swift movement for it involves not only muscle strength but their ability to expand and contract at changing rates. There are certain exercises (from warm-up to heavy-cardio) that help increase one’s agility.
2. Balance and Coordination:
Balance is the capacity to remain upright or to remain under bodily control during constant changing posture and movement. Body coordination, on the other hand, is the capacity to move at least two body parts under control, easily and effectively. These two are easily confused but for our bodies, these components of fitness need to be developed separately. Parity and Coordination are two of the most fundamental wellness parts, factors for accomplishment in numerous games. In specific games, for example, tumbling and surfing, balance is a standout amongst the most imperative physical components. Great coordination is additionally indispensable for sports involving hitting objects. In numerous different games, including group activities, great balance and coordination are essential pieces of developing the skill-related components of fitness.
3. Reaction Time:
The ability to quickly respond to changing external stimuli is called reaction time. An important clarification that needs to be made regarding skill-related fitness components is that these factors require higher levels of fitness than the ones under the health components of fitness. The skillset of fitness is required for athletes who focus on specific fitness areas required for the sports they play. Reaction time is vehemently required in boxing, football, baseball. Exercises pertaining to decreasing the reaction time of people are numerous. The most common being running at full speed while keeping ourselves on the same ground. Or better, running on a treadmill.
Speed in skill components is slightly different from what the name suggests. Speed is intricately linked to agility. In plain words, it can be termed to be the ability to move our limbs (upper and lower) to move fast on the ground, grab objects or pull and throw them. Speed training is the most common fitness component athletes are trained for. Barring athletes, speed training is also necessary for common people whose jobs involve heavy loading and unloading of objects, for instance, ground engineers in ships and airplanes.
As the name suggests, it is the ability of one person to direct force and his entire body to a particular point or a group of points. The best example of accuracy in sports is javelin throw, or bow and arrow. Bow and arrow play with accuracy and agility. Likewise, sports like long jump and high jump requires one’s body to be extremely agile and accurate. Accuracy is not only dependent on physical training but comes with sharp focus and concentration. In previous articles, we had mentioned how the mind and the body come to form a perfect whole and both complement each other. Accuracy increases from meditation, practice, perseverance, and control of the body and the mind together.
Our bodies lack in various organs, muscles and body parts. Focusing on damaged parts for repair is as crucial as building muscles or developing weight. Thus, when the training is in tandem with the various components of physical fitness, it proves more helpful to our body. In any case, in the event that you do quality training 2-3 times each week, you generate solid and strong muscles to stand taller, consume more calories and enhance the nature of your everyday exercises and development. Before you begin, converse with your health trainer to ensure there aren’t confinements or alterations that you should take after to remain safe. What’s more, request help on the off chance that you are new to preparing. A couple of sessions with a qualified coach can assist you with getting your program off to a solid begin for enduring outcomes.