Exercise is a vital part of being strong, healthy and physically fit. If you would only exercise two or three times every week you would see an impressive improvement in your daily life. More energy, strength and the ability to run around without getting tired would be on top of the rewards list.
There are 5 elements typically used to measure fitness levels in order to prescribe an appropriate exercise program for an individual. If you go do a fitness test at a Biokineticist, you will typically perform a series of exercises to measure your fitness level, such as the sit-and-reach test for flexibility, step tests or cycling for cardio endurance, a range of sit-ups and push-ups for strength and muscular endurance, and a BMI/Body Fat Percentage measurement to check body composition.
The 5 components considered to be the most important for being healthy and physically fit are:
Cardiovascular endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
Muscular strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
Muscular endurance – The ability of a muscle or muscle group to perform repeated movements with a sub-maximal force for extended periods of times.
Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
Body composition is the relative amounts of body fat and lean body tissue (muscle, bone, water, skin, blood, and other non-fat tissues).
If you score average and above for these tests, you may well consider yourself as being fit.
Then there are elements of fitness that are more skill- and sports-related. These include agility, balance and coordination, to name but a few. These skill-related components of physical fitness are directly related to sports and daily activities, and can be measured and improved using very specific training techniques.
Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.
Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
Incorporating all components of physical fitness into your exercise program is a great way to improve your fitness level.
Remember though, exercise alone is not enough to be healthy.
Nutrition plays a very important role in health and performing maximally. Eat a diet full of vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins. These food choices will help you fuel your body for daily activities and exercise, and maximum performance.