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5 Basic components of physical fitness

Cardio endurance Muscular strength  Muscular endurance
Flexibility Body composition Benefits
What are the goals of physical fitness and its components?

We are surrounding by media that constantly projects and image of ideal weight. The principals of the 5 components of  physical fitness should be turned towards fat loss for good health rather than the obsession over total weight. Fat control can be efficiently done with a commitment to regular structured exercise that will develop the 5 components of physical fitness.

The health related physical skills each contribute to a healthy quality of life.  Optimal fitness is reflected in the a persons ability to cope well with daily life as actively fit individuals will develop a resistance to hypokinetic diseases such as obesity, heart failure and diabetes which are physical conditions associated to inactivity and idle lifestyles. Optimal physical fitness is a combination of lifestyle, nutrition, habits, but it cannot be reached without an appropriate level of physical activity.

Five major components of physical fitness
Cardiorespiratory endurance
Of the five components of physical fitness, Cardiorespiratory endurance is the corner stone to complete health and the fitness gateway to improving your other fitness levels. Cardiorespiratory endurance  is defined as the ability of the heart to get oxygen rich blood to the required working muscles. It is the physical ability to maintain a steady pace of exercise without reaching an high level of fatigue and tiredness. The composition of cardiovascular endurance also includes the capacity that the body and heart have of removing CO2 from the muscles and expel via the lungs.
The typical example of the physical activity and sports that relate to cardio and vascular endurance are jogging, swimming, cycling, walking and aerobics. On a daily practical level cardio endurance is the capacity to physically tackle the physical tasks of our daily lives. Going up the stairs for over 6 floors requires endurance, it allows to tackle the
endless activities required to mange family life as your are able to maintain a lower heart rate while still maintaining a high level of body cell oxygenation.
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Muscular strength

As much as Cardiorespiratory endurance is illustrated by the ability to repeat a mind level physical effort for an extensive period of time, muscular strength is measured my the maximum amount of strength, or weight that a muscle or muscle group can lift and exert in a single effort. Of the 5 components of physical fitness, Muscular strength is directly related to the amount and type of exercise and workouts that the body undergoes. Weight training or strength training are the only methods of increasing muscle mass. Muscle mass contributes raw strength to the body which has significant other benefits and ties to fitness and weigh loss.

A greater amount of muscle mass, even at rest consumes a great amount of calories. By increasing your muscle mass you in effect increase your bodies capacity to burn calories and reduce of lower your body fat ratio. It is for this reason that other than allowing your to be more physically resistant in your daily lives, muscle is essential to weight loss and should be a part of your routine when dieting. Another benefit of physical muscular strength is that strength exercise puts effort on your tendons and bones, when done properly it will maintain your bone structure and avoid decalcification. It is for this reason that space shuttle astronauts endure a vigorous exercise program when in space.

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Muscular Endurance
Of the 5 components of physical fitness, muscular endurance is often confused with muscular strength and as they are related, they a most different in the benefits they provide. Muscular endurance is defined as the ability to main and repeat and moderate level of muscular effort such as shovelling snow. In this particular case your shoulder and arms muscles might tire and aches well before your Cardiorespiratory endurance reaches its limits. Muscular strength can be considered as a smaller ratio of your maximum muscular strength. In order to develop the max range of your muscle capabilities you need to increase the muscle strength as well. Lets take the example that you are able to lift a max of 50kg with you right arm and lift 25kg 15 times. Developing cardio endurance together with weigh training will increase the overall weight you can lift 15 times as well as help increase the number of reps at the 25kg level.
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Physical flexibility

Flexibility is a part of the major components of physical fitness with more importance then is sometimes believed. Not all people have the same flexibility requirements depending on whether you are an athlete or not and the various sporting disciplines that are practiced. But everyone needs a degree of flexibility to be able to cope with daily lives and activities. So, flexibility in its purest form is defined as the ability to move your body joints and articulations through their full range of motion.

Stretching is thus associated with flexibility allowing the range of motion to be maintained or increased via physical activity including stretching. Every individual has varying bone structures and articulations that allow for a different range of flexibility. But maintaining or increasing flexibility is essential to protecting your joints and keeping them healthy as well as allowing to strengthen your back to avoid back pain and reduce the appearance and effects of arthritis as well as reduce muscle-tendon injuries. Without regular stretching tendons and joints can become tight and hard and impair flexibility levels of your body parts.

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Body composition

The last of the 5 components of physical activity is body composition. Understanding your body composition and how it relates to your overall fitness level is essential. though more of a consequence of the previously mentioned components of physical activity.

The body composition looks at the ratio of fat in the body compared to the overall levels of lean body mass. When the body fat mass ratio is high you are considered over weight or even obese. This high fat content ration is a sign of a higher propensity to develop coronary heart disease, diabetes, joint and back pains, arthritis and higher risk of tendon-muscular accidents and injuries due to inactivity. There is  a direct link in the speed of adding pounds of fat to the lack of physical exercise and reducing the fat ration both by diet changes, nutrition quality and regular physical exercise are key.

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Benefits of exercise and physical activity
Immediate benefits of regular exercise
 Physical activity has a relaxation effect and can improve sleep as well as reduce mental stress and raze energy levels.
 Depending on the selection and variety of physical activity and sports, it can provide daily variety, fun, develop the sense of competitiveness as well as open up to a new social environment.
 Actually tackling physical activity will give a sense of achievement and self satisfaction of taking person health into your own hands.
 Will develop short term satisfaction and motivation to achieve longer term health goals. As well, the first results of an exercise plan and aerobic or stretching routine can be felt very early on.
Long term benefits of regular exercise
 Lower the Risk of Heart Disease and heart attack.
 Significantly decrease the risk of high blood pressure. though high blood pressure also is regulated by nutrient and food intake.
 Low level s of bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of clogged arteries.
 Will raise the levels of endorphin in the body that promotes a healthy sex life.
 Decreases Risk of certain types of cancers such as colon cancer.
 Will reduce the risks of joint pains and arthritis.
 Reduce decalcification of the bones.
 Improve your metabolism and strengthen the immune system
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