Health related fitness is all about psychology, personal health and how physical activity influences us as a person. This is important for anyone who wants to live a physically active lifestyle to support a higher quality of life…
Exercise can be a structured process of physical activity such as going to the gym, taking cardiovascular classes and lifting weights. Or, it can also be anything from walking to the park to intensive cardio workouts.
Health related fitness is made up of 5 core components which are by-products of exercise and physical activity. Those 5 components are...
1. Cardio respiratory endurance
Also known as aerobic fitness, cardio respiratory endurance has to do with how long you are able to carry out cardio exercises without being fatigued.
For example, you might be able to run 10 minutes without breaking a sweat when you have improved your respiratory endurance, whereas when you were new to exercise you may not have been able to get through 5 minutes without difficulty breathing.
Cardio respiratory endurance makes cardio exercise easier and is "THE KEY" component of health related training.
2. Muscular strength
Muscular strength is about how much weight you are able to lift with your muscles at one time. This would relate to the “quality” of the task being performed as opposed to the frequency, which is dealt with by your muscular endurance. It is the maximal lift ability a muscle is able to generate with effort.
3. Muscular endurance
Similar to cardio respiratory endurance, muscular endurance has to do with just how much your muscles can take during a weight training session, i.e. repeated reps. Muscular endurance is closely related to what is described as “sports fitness” however it still is pertinent to health fitness because it goes a long way when it comes to your ability to perform any physical activity, no matter how small.
Flexibility becomes even more important as we age. Being stiff can prevent even a strong and healthy body from performing certain tasks. Flexibility allows you to move faster, be more mobile and avoid pain in your joints as well. Flexibility is often called "muscular fitness" and it has to do with how freely you are able to move and even respond to unstable conditions, boosted by the elasticity of the muscles.
5. Body composition and body fat percentage
Body composition is the straight up design of your body and has do with its body mass and density. Is it flabby? Is it muscular? How is your weight distributed? Is it pear or apple shaped? Are you lean or not? What is your body fat level? Body composition has more to do with the body itself being lean and muscular vs. fat.
It's important to remember that sports health has to do with how fast you are or factors like how high you are able to jump. It is not necessarily related to health related fitness but typically they do crossover quite a bit. If your goal is just to be healthy you should keep the differences in mind.
Athletes may perform specific
exercises to improve their skills. You might call those activities
“sports-related”. They utilize 5 components of physical fitness as well.
Physical activity is all about improving quality of life leaning towards coordination, speed, power, agility and balance; all work well together.
This means increased energy levels, a stronger respiratory system, and an optimized percentage of body fat against lean body mass.
The key to achieving physical fitness for health reasons means focusing on each health related fitness component mentioned above when exercising.
Some exercise can potentially address all five components however a mix of exercises is suggested in order to best address each component.
The average person needs regular physical activity simply because the human body was designed to move. To keep it healthy, you need to move. Health related fitness means that you choose a variety of activities to benefit your body and your mind.