There are physical fitness components that are considered by insurance companies and trainers because they are important for the overall health assessment. Basically, like fine-tuning a racing engine, you would never add diesel to an engine that requires a high octane rating.
When physical trainers measure a person’s fitness, they use some components of physical fitness to test to a set standard and develop goals for further improvement. By incorporating these physical fitness components, you can not only improve your health but also lose weight.
The first of these is muscle strength. This measures the ability of the muscle to exert a maximum force through a range of motion or to a specific point. This is measured for a short period of time and usually involves the use of weights for evaluation.
Since muscle strength varies throughout the body, you may have, for example
high muscle strength in the arms with weaker legs, this component is related to the amount and type of movement your body goes through. Strength training or strength training is the only way to improve strength. One principle of increased muscle mass is that a larger amount of muscle consumes a larger number of calories, even at rest. By increasing the mass, you effectively increase the amount of calories your body needs at rest and reduce your body fat percentage. Another advantage of strength training is that it helps maintain bone structure and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
The second component is muscular endurance. This refers to the ability of your muscles to perform a series of movements over a period of time. This can be measured by the ability to hold a weight for a certain period of time – say 20 pounds overhead for 5 minutes. Many times this component is measured by push-ups, as these are exercises that exert a certain pressure over time. This measures the muscular endurance of the upper body.
Muscular endurance is often confused with muscle strength because they are linked together. However, they offer different benefits while utilizing muscular endurance, an athlete is able to shovel snow for an hour to lift and move a submaximum amount of snow over a certain period of time. Muscle strength would be the ability of the arms and shoulders to lift the maximum amount a few times.
The trainer tests muscular endurance while also testing cardiovascular endurance, as these two components are closely linked. Cardiovascular endurance shows how well the heart and lungs work together to supply the body with oxygen, also known as aerobic fitness. Trainers can use long runs or swims to test heart endurance and muscular endurance at the same time. This is the foundation for complete health and fitness. Without cardiovascular endurance, you cannot improve the rest of your fitness.
Another component is flexibility, which is the ability of a joint to move through its entire range of motion and the elasticity of the muscles. Some refer to how agile or supple you are, this is an important part of physical fitness and one that is often overlooked. Not everyone needs to be as flexible as a gymnast, but we all need a certain amount of flexibility to meet the demands that are placed on us in everyday life.
Stretching is associated with the flexibility to maintain or increase a joint’s ability to stretch further. Maintaining your flexibility is important for the protection of your joints and allows you to further strengthen to protect your back and reduce the pain of arthritis.
The final component of physical fitness is body composition. This is the ratio of lean body mass to fat body mass. This percentage does not refer to your weight in pounds or your figure, but to a measurement against a norm. Women and men have different body composition ratios. Women carry a higher percentage of fat to get a developing baby. This does not mean that women are fatter – but that their fat distribution is different.