Physical fitness describes a condition of well-being and health and, more importantly, the ability to do basic parts of daily tasks, jobs and sports. It may also be equated with losing weight. Physical fitness is usually achieved through regular exercise, proper nutrition and adequate rest. Exercise involves using the body’s muscles through various types of movements, which include cardiovascular exercises, flexibility training and strength training. The most common form of physical fitness includes cardiovascular exercises, such as jogging, walking, swimming and dancing, while weight training, such as lifting weights or bodybuilding, is also popular.
A person’s level of physical fitness depends on a variety of factors, including age, genetics and current health conditions. For example, if someone is fifty years old and has not done any physical exercise for a decade or so, he may still be considered “fit”. While the elderly may benefit from regular strength training and aerobic exercises, they should consult a physician before beginning a program. The elderly are at greater risk of injury from injuries such as falls, osteoporosis and arthritis.
When considering one’s fitness level, it is important to consider the structure of the body. When discussing muscle structure, it is important to keep in mind that the muscle fiber types differ between people. In addition, different types of muscle fibers work in different ways. Therefore, it is important to understand the overall purpose of the muscles and how the body uses muscles to achieve certain movement, posture and balance. Additionally, there are five major categories of muscle fiber: fast twitch, slow twitch, polymyotonic, sarcoplasmic and myofascial.
Endurance is the ability to physically last for an extended period of time. Therefore, endurance is the primary component of physical fitness. It is measured through a person’s maximum heart rate, attained oxygen intake, and metabolic rate. Therefore, in a fitness test, one is asked to do as many repetitions as possible of a particular exercise, then have their maximum heart rate recorded for up to sixty seconds. There are many factors that can contribute to a person’s physical endurance such as genetics, training intensity, age, body composition, body fat percentage, and even stress levels.
Physical fitness involves various types of exercise activities and sports. These activities include cardiovascular and resistance exercises, weight training, swimming, power lifting, cycling, playing sports such as tennis or soccer, and aerobic exercises. The type of exercise should be tailored to meet a person’s needs and goals. For instance, swimming requires both strength and endurance and requires a good motor coordination. Thus, a swimmer will use weight and resistance to increase muscle size and strength and the swimmer who has a strong but flexible nervous system will use aerobic exercise to increase the metabolism and allow the person to burn more calories while engaging in physical fitness activities. Thus, in order to reach the best results, individuals must consider the goals they wish to achieve and select the appropriate exercise regimen.
Individuals who are into sports may engage in endurance or strength training. This type of fitness usually includes running, biking, rowing, or doing aerobics such as step aerobics. Aerobic exercise is used to increase endurance and improve strength, but in doing so it also increases the body’s heart rate and caloric burn. Strength training, on the other hand, is usually associated with resistance training where athletes use weight and resistance to build muscle mass and improve on their overall fitness levels.