The Five Components of Fitness
- Cardiovascular Fitness
- Muscular Strength
- Muscular Endurance
- Body Composition
Component # 1, Cardiovascular Fitness
The 5 components of fitness are representatives of how fit we really are. Some people grade their fitness levels by how far or fast they can run, others by how much weight they can bench press and still others by how defined their abs or biceps are. The truth is if you can run 10 miles but can do a push up and your body composition says your are clinically obese then you are still at risk for certain health related illnesses. This article will talk about the first component of fitness, cardiovascular fitness, and will be followed up by 4 more articles about the remaining components of fitness. The goal will be to clearly define a path to a better workout regimen for those who choose complete fitness!
Cardiovascular fitness refers to the ability of your heart, lungs, and organs to consume, transport, and utilize oxygen. When you exercise regularly, you can increase your cardiovascular fitness as your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood and oxygen to the body, and the body becomes more efficient at using that oxygen. Who doesn’t want that?? So now that we have determined that you should be doing cardiovascular exercise for the simple reason of more efficient heart, lungs, and organs…you know… the things we can’t live without, how much do you need to do? According to the American College or Sports Medicine you need the following.
- Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
- One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
- Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.
- People unable to meet these minimums can still benefit from some activity.
Pay close attention to the last bullet!! People unable to meet these requirements can still benefit from some… any… activity. This means do what you can, even if it seems like it’s too little. Let’s talk about smokers for a minute. Yes we all know you are doing damage to your cardiovascular system directly by smoking and I understand that is completely your right to do so. So all I can do from there is to ask that you exercise as much as you can to help your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood and oxygen to the body, and the body becomes more efficient at using that oxygen. When you do this you keep your body as healthy as possible while you get what you want, you smoking! Remember you can not erase the health risk of smoking with exercise but you may decrease that risk by a percentage.
That pretty well sums up the first component of fitness and next up is muscular strength! Thanks for reading and please get up and exercise for a minimum of 10 minutes today! Do it for YOU!