An Element With A Very High Resistance To Flow The 4 Elements of Fitness

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The 4 Elements of Fitness

Many people want to get fit but this raises a question. What does it mean to be fit? The answer is very simple. To stay fit, one must have physical ability in four areas: aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

1. Aerobic capacity. Aerobic capacity, also called cardiorespiratory fitness, refers to the health and function of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Simply put, aerobic fitness is the ability of the cardiorespiratory system to adequately supply oxygen to the exercising muscles. As your aerobic capacity increases, so does your ability to participate in more intense and prolonged exercise (eg, walking, running, swimming, and cycling). It can be argued that aerobic capacity is the most important of the four components of fitness because of the health benefits it provides. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, increased aerobic capacity lowers blood pressure, lowers total cholesterol, increases HDL (good) cholesterol, lowers body fat, improves heart function, and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

2. Muscular strength and endurance. Muscle strength is the maximum force a muscle or muscle group can produce during a single contraction. Muscular endurance is the number of repeated contractions a muscle or muscle group can perform without fatigue. Both are important components of overall fitness because increasing your strength through various forms of resistance training (eg, weightlifting) increases bone strength, decreases bone loss, decreases muscle wasting, increases tendon and ligament strength, increases physical capacity, improves metabolism (eg, eg, burning more calories at rest), and reducing the risk of injury.

3. Flexibility. Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint. Increased flexibility provides a variety of benefits such as reduced risk of injury, increased blood flow and nutrient flow to joint structures, increased neuromuscular coordination, reduced risk of back pain, improved posture and reduced muscle tension.

4. Body structure. Body composition is the relative percentage of body weight that consists of body fat and fat-free mass (everything other than fat, such as muscle, organs, blood, bones, and water). Generally speaking, the lower your body fat percentage, the better because of diseases associated with excess body fat, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and sleep disorders. I am often asked, “Can you be fat and fit?” The answer is a resounding no. An important factor in fitness is having a healthy body fat percentage because increased fat decreases athletic performance and increases the risk of disease (although health is not just about disease or illness, it is possible to be weight and healthy). According to the American Council on Exercise, the average body fat percentage for men is 18-24%. For fit men the percentage is 14-17%. The average percentage for women is 25-31%; However fit women will be in the range of 21-24%. A body fat percentage greater than 25% for men and 32% for women is considered obese.

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