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The 4 Elements of Fitness

The 4 Elements of Fitness
The 4 Elements of Fitness
Most people want to be in shape, but that begs the question. What does it mean to be fit? The answer is quite simple. To be fit, you need to have physical capacity in four areas: aerobic capacity, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

1. Aerobic capacity. Aerobic capacity, also known as cardiorespiratory fitness, refers to the health and function of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Simply put, aerobic form is the ability of the cardiorespiratory system to provide an adequate supply of oxygen to the muscles that exercise. As your aerobic capacity increases, your ability to participate in more intense and longer-lasting exercises also increases (for example, walking, running, swimming and cycling).

It can be said that aerobic capacity is the most important of the four elements of physical fitness due to the health benefits it confers. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, increased aerobic capacity leads to a decrease in blood pressure, a decrease in total cholesterol, an increase in (good) HDL cholesterol, a decrease in body fat, an increase in function heart and a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.

2. Muscle strength and endurance. Muscle strength is the maximum amount of force that a muscle or muscle group can generate during a single contraction. Muscular endurance is the number of repeated contractions that a muscle or muscle group can perform without getting tired. Both are important components of overall fitness, as increasing your strength through various types of resistance training (e.g. weightlifting) leads to increased bone strength, decreased bone loss, decreased muscle loss, increased tendon and ligament strength, increased physical capacity, improved metabolic function ((burn more calories at rest, for example) and reduce risk injuries.

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

4. Body composition. Body composition refers to the relative percentage of body weight that is made up of body fat and fat-free mass (anything other than fat like muscles, organs, blood, bones and water). Generally speaking, the lower your body fat percentage, the better it is due to diseases related to excess body fat such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and sleep disturbances. I am often asked: "Can you be fat and fit?" The answer is overwhelming no. An important component of physical fitness is the possession of a healthy percentage of body fat, since an increase in fat leads to a decrease in sports performance and an increased risk of disease (although it is possible to Being overweight and healthy because health is simply the absence of illness or disease).

According to the American Council on Exercise, the average percentage of body fat for men is 18 to 24%. For fit men, the percentage is 14 to 17%. The average percentage for women is 25 to 31%, however, fit women will be in the range of 21-24%. Body fat percentages greater than 25% for men and 32% for women are considered obese.