According to Wikipedia, “Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. Physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical exercise, and sufficient rest.”
Although the formal definition of fitness has remained constant, ones perception is variable. Prior to the industrial revolution a person was fit if they were able to carry out the day’s activities, and be able to do the same the following day. With the development of machines, automation and less physical work necessary over the years – and thus more sitting, the definition is more specific. Physical fitness now encompasses the elective performance and resistance of the body as well.
Body Composition –BMI stands for “Body Mass Index,” a ratio between weight and height. It is useful as a general guideline. It is a mathematical formula that correlates with body fat.
Cardiovascular Component – This is the body’s ability to take in oxygen and deliver it to the cells in order to create energy for activity. Any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.” It is a type of exercise that overloads the heart and lungs and causes them to work harder than at rest.
Muscular Ability –Muscular endurance is the ability to apply force from a muscle over a period of time, or the ability to repeat muscle contractions. Muscular strength is the ability to generate force.
Balance – Balance is the ability to maintain a specific body position in either a stationary or dynamic(moving) activity.
Flexibility – This is the range of motion that each joint in the body is capable of performing. Flexibility exercises help stretch muscles, protect against injuries and allow the maximum range of motion for joints.
Other components of fitness include: Coordination, Agility, Reaction Time, Speed, Power, Mental Capability
A complete fitness program is individualized, to the persons current fitness level, daily physical activity, skills, age related needs, and health factors as a base. A holistic approach to fitness also includes the mental, social and emotional aspect of physical activity.