Physical fitness definition
Physical Fitness refers to the prospering health and well-being of an individual that gives one the ability to perform tasks of survival, occupations, and activities of daily life. The physical condition of the body increasingly determines our way of life, sharpens our abilities to achieve our objectives and is a prerequisite condition to one’s sound mental fitness and prospering lifestyle.
How is physical fitness defined?
Physical Fitness can be defined in a number of ways. In an ever-changing society the concept of fitness and being ‘fit’ has evolved with time. The first definition of physical well-being or physical fitness was determined in accordance with the overall development, survival and growth rate of a species. Therefore, fitness depended on the ability of an organism to cope with various environmental conditions, harsh weather and climate. This is how the ‘survival of the fittest’ concept came into being.
Around 1950, in accordance with how the world changed after the Industrial Revolution, the concept of physical fitness also evolved and was increasingly used as a scale of well-being for each human. As this economic system survives on every working person’s ability, a more holistic definition of the term ‘fitness’ was required. Today physical fitness is equated with physical attractiveness, physique, muscular strength, as well as mental fitness. All of these elements combined together, make one’s body physically fit.
Physical Fitness and the development of physical skills and strength have led to the worldwide fitness industry. Today we have fitness activities tailored for individuals that focus on muscular strength, high cardio-endurance and activities, respiratory regulation and increasing the body’s ability to handle the pressure. A dedicated fitness program will cater to the following:
- The adaptability of a body to changing environmental conditions.
- Muscular strength of the body.
- Significant aerobic and non-respiratory abilities also called muscular endurance activities.
- Issues of aging.
- Issues of bone density or bone health.
- Weight, physique and body structure.
- General attractiveness.
The following lines give us a more comprehensive approach as to what are the various components of physical fitness:
Cardiovascular Endurance (CE):
This is the capacity of the body to convey oxygen and supplements to tissues and to remove bodily wastes over certain timeframes. CE can be enhanced through oxygen consuming activity; those performed at a direct level of force over a generally long stretch of time, for example, running or playing tennis.
Muscular Strength and Muscular Endurance:
Strength manages the capacity of the muscle to apply muscular force for a brief period of time, while endurance is the capacity of a muscle, or a series of muscles, to sustain constant constrictions over a certain period of time. Weight training posits ways to create both the quality and size of skeletal muscles.
This signifies the capacity to move joints and utilize muscles through their full scope of movement. Flexibility might be expanded through stretching. Hatha Yoga and Pilates are entire body exercises that cater to body flexibility and balance.
This is one of the most important areas of physical fitness one should focus on. It is the ratio of the lean mass (mass of bones, tissues, muscles, and organs) to that of the fat mass. This ratio is also known as BMI (Body Mass Index). A balanced BMI is a more accurate strategy for deciding if a man’s weight is sound in relation to their specific body type.
There are various other elements/components of fitness like Agility, Balance, Coordination, Reaction Time, Speed, Power, and Accuracy. To know more about them, follow this link.
Many cite mental health and fitness to be a crucial part of physical fitness. In the 21st century, the exponential advancement of neuroscience has shown a great link between the two. A healthy mind and a healthy body complement each other, and new fitness modules also contain exercises that cater to the mind, the nerves and the synaptic joints. However, all of us, at least once in our lives, started with fitness routines and failed miserably. We have looked at our body shapes in the mirror, laughed or cried at our deplorable body conditions and promised new-year resolutions to ourselves. Only in vain! It is important to understand that being fit is more than just looking beautiful or fitting the modules of beauty society prescribes for us. It is a way of life and comes with loving one’s own body and mind. We fail with the fitness modules because we do it to achieve others’ expectations of how our bodies should be instead of focussing on what we want.
Here are the reasons as to why physical fitness is important:
First and foremost, being physically fit increases your focus and concentration. As mentioned before, there is a strong connection between our minds and bodies. Exercising regularly or staying within a fitness module is one of the best ways to increase our concentration, studies show. Regulating our bodies in a fixed series of movements and fitness activities gives the brain to reflect on the exercise and improve blood circulation, the lack of which is one of the detriments of concentration.
Second, in this age of global warming, it is a dire need to keep our bodies functioning well against all adversities. With the rise in global temperatures, risks of heart attacks, heart failures are increasing with each passing day. Thus, it is increasingly important to manage our body temperatures. Our bodies are nothing but natural machines designed to function properly only in a certain range of temperatures. Drinking enough water, having a perfectly balanced diet and fitness activities have become compulsory for the maintenance of our fitness levels.
Being in proper shape increases our confidence. The best love is self-love. When we are in shape, and we see our dear ones appreciating us for that, automatically our confidence increases. We start facing the world with renewed vigor and sublime ease. We do not get bogged down with our appearances, because deep down we feel healthy, fit and hitting.
Fourth, intense muscular endurance exercises save us from previous injuries or succumbing to sudden bodily jerks due to accidents, minor or major. Untimely injuries are usually ignored, but in the long run, they may prove to be extremely painful. For instance, most of us ignore joint aches and sprains, thinking they would go away with time. Most of the cases these injuries retain and make us suffer in old age.
Childhood obesity is on the rise and the fame of PC/TV; network games have led to a large group of unhealthy kids. Community sports such as baseball, soccer can give an important outlet to youngsters. Enthusiasm for games can add to a kid’s development and advancement in routes more than one. By keeping physically fit, meeting new companions, and adapting new aptitudes, youngsters can create propensities that will remain with them all through their lifetime.
Our bone structure is an integral part of ‘being fit.’ Our bone structure is like a cage where our organs are kept. If the cage is weak, it will inherently affect our physical fitness and well-being. Bones are muscles coordinate with each other, providing for us a physical condition that allows us to perform all our tasks. Hindering the development of anyone’s aspect shall shut down the vital functions of the body. Therefore, bone endurance is as important as muscular endurance.
In other words, the body composition is balanced only when we take proper care of both the bones and the muscles. Coupled with our physical condition is our mental fitness and care needs to be taken of both these components of the body. Each of us has specific bodily needs and thus our fitness activities, and modules vary. Irrespective of our age, caste, regular routines, we all deserve a healthy lifestyle and way of thinking. The final idea is to retain a healthy state of mind so that we can contribute to this large global family. Keeping all these components of fitness in mind, let’s make this world a better place where people are of sound health and mind, and adversities are handled together.