5 Components of Fitness

The Five Components of Physical Activity:

  1. Cardiorespiratory Endurance:
    This is the body's ability, over sustained periods of physical activity, to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues, and to remove wastes. To measure this Fitness Component, you can step on and off a 10- to 12-inch-high step and then take your heart rate after three to five minutes.
  2. Muscular Endurance:
    This is the ability of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to sustain repeated contractions or to continue applying force against a fixed object. For a fitness assessment of your muscular endurance, you can do push-ups. The more push-ups you can do, the fitter you are.
  3. Muscular Strength:
    This is the muscle's ability to exert force for a brief span of time. You can measure physical fitness components, like this, by lifting weights.
  4. Flexibility:
    This is the ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion. This should be performed before and after each workout. By performing a simple motion and observing how far you can go, you can assess the flexibility of each part of your body. The sit-and-reach test is a good measure of flexibility of the lower back and the hamstrings (back of the legs).
  5. Body Composition:
    This Fitness Component is the ratio of lean body mass to fat. Lean body mass represents the weight of water, muscle, bone and internal organs. Body fat represents the remaining fat tissue and is expressed as a percentage of total body weight. Because muscle weighs more than fat, it is important to measure your body composition rather than your body weight when you evaluate your fitness level.  Body composition can be measured through the Body Mass Index or BMI.  If you are using body composition to measure your fitness goals, it is important that you use the same body fat measurement technique.
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