Are you really fit? What is your fitness level?
Fitness is not only about building muscles by working out in the gym or walking or running on treadmill, ground, or doing yoga. Fitness is more than this. Fitness is growth in daily functional strength and energy. It is the ability to perform daily activities with energy and alertness and without fatigue. The overall fitness involves various components of fitness. There are five fitness components such as Cardiovascular Endurance, Muscular Endurance, Muscular Skeletal Strength, Flexibility, and Ideal body Composition.
Cardiovascular Endurance is the capacity of the heart to provide oxygen and nutrients to all the muscles through blood supply for a long period of time. It also involves some measurements such as heart rate and oxygen consumption during the activity.
Cardio means heart and Vascular means blood vessels. There are two kinds of blood vessels in our body, one is Artery and the second is Vein. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart and veins carry deoxygenated blood toward the heart. Our muscles get oxygenated blood supply through Arteries. Endurance is the capacity of the heart to provide this blood supply to all the muscles and tissues through arteries.
To develop Cardiovascular Endurance we need to increase the Aerobic (cardio) activity. Aerobic is an activity that lasts more than 3 minutes and that promotes the circulation of oxygen through the blood. In an aerobic activity, ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is produced in the presence of oxygen. Such aerobic activity is performed by walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, skipping, aerobic dance, Zumba dance, rowing, and elliptical training.
Muscular Endurance is a working or contraction ability of our muscles for a long period of time in low intensity. For example, push up and sit up.
To improve Muscular Endurance, we need to do aerobic activity. Cross-training aerobic activity is the best option to improve the muscular endurance of our whole body – upper and lower. For example, when we do walking, jogging, or cycling, we improve our cardiovascular endurance but not the muscular endurance of our whole body. We improve the muscular endurance of only our lower body.
To improve the muscular endurance of our whole body (upper and lower) we need to do activities like swimming, rowing, and elliptical training.
Muscular Skeletal Strength
Muscular Skeletal Strength is a working or contraction ability of our muscles in high intensity against given weight. Which means how much repetitions we can do against the given weight. Muscular Skeletal Strength is a total strength of our muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons. Ligament and tendon are connecting tissues. A ligament connects one bone to another and the tendon connects muscle to bone.
To improve the Muscular Skeletal Strength, we need to do an activity like weight training. The intensity should be 6-8 reps max.
Flexibility means maximum stretching ability or range of motion of our muscles. Flexibility is depending on the extensibility and elasticity of our muscles. Extensibility means maximum stretching ability of the muscle and Elasticity means the ability to return in the previous state of the muscle. To increase the flexibility, we need to do stretching after exercise. Because after the exercise our body temperature is high and due to this body temperature our muscles can be stretched in the maximum range of motion.
Ideal body Composition
Ideal body Composition is the amount of fat on our body against other tissues such as muscles, bones, and skin. It can be measured by various devices. There should be only 15% body fat and 85% lean body mass in males and 20% body fat and 80% lean body mass in females.
To improve the body composition we need regular exercise, good nutrition, and proper rest and recovery.