About Physical fitness
Physical fitness is one of the core preconditions of health. We cannot imagine a person being healthy without being physically fit. Physical fitness, therefore, needs to be appreciated in full measure. The common perception of physical fitness is the absence of ailment. Another significant issue is whether there is a universal condition of physical fitness which is uniformly applicable to all. It is not so. The physical fitness of young people is different from that of the aged. The physical fitness of a sports person is different from that of the persons working in an army factory or a layman. In fact, physical fitness means different things to different people. In this lesson, let us discuss various aspects of physical fitness.
Physical fitness has been defined as the capacity of a person to carry out daily activities without undue fatigue. Physical fitness is considered a measure of the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively during work and leisure activities. In order to remain physically fit and healthy, we need to engage ourselves in physical activities and take measures for physically fit. Physical fitness is an important area of discussion as the number of children becoming obese. The normal physical activities, which were done in earlier times both at home and outside as part of the day-to-day routine have been reduced due to the development of science and technology. The work that was done manually is now being carried out by machines. The use of automated equipment such as automatic machines, remotes, and mobiles and changes in lifestyles affect health and physical fitness. It has become a matter of deep thinking for all of us.
Need for Physical Fitness
As discussed in the first chapter on Health and Diseases, the benefits of being physically fit for the individual are manifold. The quality of life of an individual improves when he/she consciously adopts a healthy lifestyle that promotes physical fitness as follows:
• improves the functioning of the heart and lungs by increasing the availability of oxygen to all tissues and organs in the body system;
• improves muscle tone;
• promotes the development of good posture, proportionate figure, and thereby positive body image and physical appearance;
• ensures quick recovery after injury and illness;
• decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease; (like Heart attack, Asthma, etc.)
• reduces and controls undesirable body fat. When the individual does exercises and takes a proper diet that also fulfills nutritional requirements, it helps maintain ideal body weight;
• increases the energy level of a person;
• improves the mood by reducing depression and anxiety;
• postpones fatigue and reduces recovery time after vigorous activity; and
• helps people to meet the challenges of life, makes them self-confident, and delays the aging process.
Components of Health-Related Fitness
Cardio-respiratory Endurance: cardio-respiratory endurance reflects the ability of the body’s circulatory and respiratory systems to supply fuel during sustained physical activity. To improve your cardio-respiratory endurance, try activities that keep your heart rate elevated at a safe level for a sustained length of time such as walking, running, jogging, swimming, bicycling, etc. The activity you choose need not be strenuous enough to improve your cardio-respiratory endurance. Start slowly with an activity you enjoy, and gradually work up and increase to a more intense pace.
Muscular Strength is the amount of force applied on muscle or muscle groups, that is able to exert for one maximal effort (contraction). The key to making your muscles stronger is working them against resistance, whether that be from weights or gravity. If you want to gain muscle strength, try exercises such as lifting weights (under proper supervision).
Muscular Endurance is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert force against a submaximal load for a given length of time (or the number of repetitions) before fatiguing to the point of failure.
Body Composition refers to the proportion of team body mass to body fat, it includes the amount of muscle, fat, bone, and other vital parts of the body. Body composition is important to be considered for health and managing body fat.
Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint. Good flexibility in the joints can help prevent injuries through all stages of life. If you want to improve your flexibility, try yoga, gymnastics, and a basic stretching exercise program.
Components of Skill-related Fitness
Agility is the ability to change and control the direction and position of the body while maintaining a constant, rapid motion. For example, changing directions to hit a tennis ball.
Balance is the ability to control or stabilize the body when a person is standing still or moving. For example, handstands in gymnastics.
Coordination is the ability to use the senses together with body parts during movement. For example, dribbling a basketball. Using hands and eyes together is called hand-eye coordination.
Speed is the ability to move your body or parts of your body swiftly. Many sports rely on speed to gain an advantage over opponents. For example, a Basketball player making a fast break to perform a lay-up, a tennis player moving forward to get to a drop shot, and a football player running the defense to receive a pass.
Power is the ability to move the body parts swiftly while applying the maximum force of the muscles. Power is a combination of both speed and muscular strength. For example, volleyball players lift up to the net and lift their bodies high into the air.
Reaction Time is the ability to reach or respond quickly to what you hear, see, or feel. For example, an athlete quickly coming off the blocks early in a swimming or track event, stealing a base in baseball.
Activities for Developing Physical Fitness
The types of activities that may be useful to different aspects of fitness are aerobic and anaerobic. These are as follows:
(a) Aerobic Activity
Aerobic Exercise: any physical activity that requires increased oxygen is an Aerobic exercise. Aerobic activity or exercise is therefore the same as cardiovascular exercise as it
• increases cardiac capacity
• strengthens the heart and lungs
Aerobic fitness is the capacity of an individual to sustain exercise for a prolonged period of time, for example jogging for more than 15 minutes, cycling and calisthenics, etc.
Aerobic activities develop the cardio-respiratory endurance of an individual. The different types of aerobic activities are aerobic dance, skipping, walking, long-distance running, swimming, etc.
(b) Anaerobic Activity
The term Anaerobic means “without oxygen”. Anaerobic exercise is a high-intensity activity for a short period of time. It relies on energy sources that are stored in the muscles of individuals Anaerobic exercise develops stronger muscles. With vigorous workouts, there is a temporary shortage of oxygen being delivered to the working muscles, for example, sprinting or bodybuilding.
However, the early stage of all exercise is anaerobic.
This kind of activity is responsible for developing speed. This form of activity benefits the bones, i.e. their thickness increases. The different types of anaerobic activities are weight lifting, sprint races, jumping, mountain climbing, rafting, etc.
(c) All Team Games and Individual Sports
All major games and individual sports require a certain level of fitness components like strength, speed, agility, flexibility, and endurance for successful participation.