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What are the five components of fitness?

Fitness includes five essential components, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular endurance, muscular strength, and body composition. These five components are vitally important to health and wellness as well as to the ability to engage in normal activities of daily living (ADLs) such as performing chores or taking care of loved ones. Your exercise training programs should be designed with the intent of improving each of the five components of fitness. This will help ensure optimal health and performance in addition to preventing chronic disease (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis etc.).

Fitness is the ability of an individual to perform the physical demands of daily activities and recreational athletics and still have the energy to cope with the challenges of life. The 5 components of physical fitness that enable a person to live the way they want are:

Body Composition: Body Composition relates to the ratio between the amount of lean tissue (bone, muscle, organs) and body fat that a person carries on his or her body. High percentages of body fat have been linked to metabolic disease, low energy, and compromised emotional health.

Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Cardiorespiratory is defined as the health and function of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. CF is the ability of the body to sustain prolonged activity. Traditional activity such as running, walking, biking, swimming or functional activity sustained over a duration of time will enhance CF.

Muscular Strength: Is characterized by the maximal force muscle(s) can generate without a time limit of a specified movement.

Muscular Endurance: The ability to perform repeated muscular effort and prolong fatigue into a specified task or activity.

Flexibility: Defined as the range of motion around specific joints. Flexibility depends on many variables: age, gender, body composition, behavioral habits are just a few. Inadequate flexibility can lead to loss of power and potential injury.

Optimal levels of all 5 of these components are necessary for an individual to meet their fitness needs and to deliver a comprehensive exercise program for any activity or sport. All of these components may be adapted to any activity or sport specific to an individual’s goals and needs.   

The five components of fitness

  1. Muscular strength, a muscles ability to lift a certain weight once
  2. Muscular endurance, the ability of the body to produce low levels of force and maintain them for extended periods of time.
  3. Cardiovascular endurance, how long your heart and lungs can work without a break and how quickly they can return to a normal state
  4. Body composition, how much fat you have
  5. Flexibility, your joints ability to move through a full range of motion.

 

The definition of physical fitness is the ability to respond to routine physical demands while retaining enough reserve energy to cope with sudden challenge. The components of physical fitness that are necessary to achieve the above definition are:

Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Cardiorespiratory is defined as the health and function of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. CF is the ability of the body to sustain prolonged activity. Traditional activity such as running, walking, biking, swimming or functional activity sustained for a duration will enhance CF.

Muscular Strength: Is characterized by the maximal force muscle(s) can generate without a time limit of a specified movement.

Muscular Endurance: The ability to perform repeated muscular effort and prolong fatigue into a specified task or activity.

Flexibility: Defined as the range of motion around specific joints. Flexibility depends on many variables: age, gender, body composition, behavioral habits are just a few. Inadequate flexibility can lead to loss of power and potential injury.

Body Composition: BC relates to the amount of lean tissue (bone, muscle, organs) and body fat and individual carries. High percentages of body fat have shown to increase the chance of disease.

The five components of physical fitness are:
1. Cardiovascular fitness 
2. Muscular strength- how much force you muscle/muscles can exert in a single effort.
3. Muscular endurance- ability of your muscle to do repeated movements over a period of time.
4. Flexibility- the range of motion of your joints and muscles. 
5. Body composition- the percent of body fat compared to your overall body mass.

It is important to focus on all five of these in order to have a comprehensive and effective exercise plan.
 
A well thought out fitness program will help with targeting all five of these areas. Actually a strength program with a few adjustments can actually target all five as well.
The five components of fitness are cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.  These are the five areas that you want to take into consideration when considering your level of fitness, and designing a well rounded program.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.