Components of Physical Fitness

The five major components of physical fitness are cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. This article provides information regarding the same.

The definition of physical fitness is relative. Physical fitness for athlete is different from a normal healthy person. Generally, it can be defined as the ability of the body to function normally throughout the day, ability to perform other usual activities, and still have enough energy stored to manage excess stress in case of emergencies. The 5 major components which contribute to good physical condition are:

Cardiovascular Endurance
Cardiovascular endurance is the component which helps to check if the heart and lungs are working in unison to provide oxygen and blood during the workout. Lungs bring oxygen to the blood. This blood is pumped by the heart for muscular and other systems of the body. Some of the best cardiovascular exercises are swimming, aerobics, and skipping with a jump rope.

Muscular Strength
This component is one of the most considered components amongst all when thinking of a person being fit or in shape. Muscular strength means the ability of the muscles to lift weight. In a workout, it is important that you have weight training to build muscles so that the body is capable of lifting different amount of weights. Some examples of muscle strength training exercises are bench press, push ups, calf raises, etc.

Muscular Endurance
Muscular endurance means the ability of the muscles to perform repeated exercises without getting tired. Simply put, the ability to withstand more repetitions of the muscle-training exercise. Some examples of the strength training exercises are running, cycling, cross-training on elliptical machine, etc.

Flexibility
After a workout, it is important that you perform stretching exercises to improve your flexibility. Flexibility component among the major components of fitness, tests the ability of all the joints in the body to move to their full range of motion. Stretching exercises like hamstring stretch, quadriceps stretch are examples of stretching exercises. When performing stretching exercises, it is important that you go slow and hold the position for an appropriate time. Yoga poses are an excellent way to improve your flexibility.

Body Composition
This component takes into account your body type, which is according to the height, weight, frame size, and the proportion of the fat mass compared to lean muscle mass. One excellent way to determine the body fat is underwater weighing.

The 5 main components of physical fitness can be used to define an average person. However, for successful sports participation, there are around 6 major skills-related components. These include speed, agility, balance, coordination, reaction time, and power.

But, these are the requirements for athletes. For a healthy body, you should have all the components in your workout. It is important that you consult your doctor, before entering any physical training program if you have any health condition. One of the best workouts which constitute maximum of the above components is swimming. Swimming is a cardio and strength training workout, which helps build lean muscles. With swimming, there is a reduced possibility of any injury, and it also provides great flexibility and endurance to the body.

Fitness Tips to Keep You in Top Form

Everyone wants to keep fit. The problem is, it can be difficult for some to get the fitness momentum, as well as keep it. Whether you’re already going to the gym, or trying to include fitness in your routine, you always want to be motivated to strive to be in tiptop shape. Here are 6 fitness tips to help keep you in top form.

Make a schedule

Work and responsibilities at home can put a damper on your desire to be fitter. It’s hard to motivate yourself for a jog or a visit to the gym if you have lots of things on your plate. The best way to squeeze a workout in is to make a flexible schedule. Look for holes in your current schedule. Yes, no matter how busy you are, there will always be some time in your schedule. Even if it’s just 15 minutes. Work your way up from that. When you start getting momentum, target a fixed schedule. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself making more time for the workout.

Do some dynamic stretching

Flexibility decreases with age. However, if you keep your body in top form it can help delay flexibility issues. That’s why even senior citizens are encouraged to stretch and do mild exercises. Always include stretching exercises in your routine. Actually, even in everyday life. Static stretches are no longer the norm. Try dynamic stretches. This type of stretching activity allows your muscles to move freely, thus, they get stretched and warmed up more. Examples of dynamic stretching are arm swings, hip twists, lunges, ankle bounces and toe touches. Make dynamic stretches a permanent fixture in your pre and post workout routine.  Include it in your everyday life, as well. Do stretches when you wake up in the morning. At work, after sitting for some time. You’ll find that it will do wonders for your flexibility.

Remember to rehydrate

Most people will always give in to the urge to eat, but the urge to drink? They often set it aside. What happens is they get dehydrated without even knowing it. This is a serious hindrance to your fitness goals. Not to mention it’s really bad for your health.  Don’t forget to rehydrate. Water always works best. If you’re doing intense sports or working out, you’ll need to a sports drink to replace lost nutrients. Choose one which has less sugar and calories. Also, avoid sodas and energy drinks. Even juices, since they are usually full of sugar. This not only goes for physical activities, but during the course of your day.

Be smart with what you eat

Mention the word ‘diet’ and everyone is sure to cringe. But you don’t have to go on a strict diet to be in top physical form. You just have to eat smart. Avoid processed foods. Read labels to avoid food with too much sodium, sugar and learn to substitute with healthier alternative. For example, if you crave for French fries why not try sweet potatoes instead? Or eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread? Eat yoghurt instead of ice cream. Even the simplest substitute can have a great effect on your health goals.

Do some cardio

Cardiovascular exercise is good for your heart. And it also helps you burn calories even at a resting rate. Try to include 20-30 minutes of cardio in your fitness routine and in everyday life. It does not have to be a run or a session at the gym. It could be a walk home, climbing and going down a flight of stairs or in a treadmill at home. Be sure to have a good pair of shoes to protect your feet and maximize your cardio workout. For instance, Reebok footwear is a good pair to start with. An online is the easiest way to find Reebok shoes in Qatar. If you’re on a budget you can also be lucky enough to spot Reebok discounts online.

Remember to live life

Although it’s great to be disciplined and keep your fitness goals in mind, don’t let it stop you from enjoying life. Eat the foods you like, like pizza and burgers. The trick is not to binge. Don’t consider these as comfort food, but an occasional treat. This way, you’ll curb any craving for such foods.

Also, take time off from your schedule to get out. Go on a night out or vacation with friends or a partner. Remember that fitness does not only refer to your physical, but your emotional and mental health as well. So don’t forget to live life to the fullest.

Fitness Challenge Ideas

Fitness is a lifestyle, it is something that you need to do and share with your near and dear ones. If you’re tired of working out alone, and want to know of some creative ways to make your group exercising routine interesting and fun,

Experts suggest that people who workout with partners, or in groups, tend to stick to the plan for a longer duration and achieve their goals more often as compared to those who workout alone.

A fitness regime seems to be promising before you start, difficult when you are a beginner, and after a point, it gets kind of mundane, especially when you’ve been into it for quite some time. Perhaps you could bring about a positive change in your routine by involving more people in your workout. As mentioned already, it has been observed that group exercises prove to be more fruitful than otherwise. According to Todd A. Astorino, Associate Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, San Marcos, “For long-term weight loss, you need to have social support”. Apart from this, exercising in groups consisting of people who share common fitness goals and challenges also helps in building positive relationships with them, which again contributes to your overall health.

Different fitness challenges can be incorporated to target the long-term goals of how you wish to sculpt your body. These challenges not only induce a sense of healthy competition among members, but also provide the much-coveted motivation and zest that most people fail to find within themselves during a workout session. Take a look at these 5 challenges we have in store for your group.

Fun Group Activity Ideas for Achieving Your Fitness Goals

The Pedometer Boost

According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, people who use a pedometer, tend to walk almost 2,000 steps more than those who don’t use one. So, yes, before you start planning a fitness regime for your group, make sure everyone gets a pedometer for sure! You are normally suggested to walk 10,000 steps everyday to keep the weight off your body. However, to make things a little more challenging, your group can start with the treadmill (while wearing a pedometer). The goal is to compete with each other to see who reaches the number (10,000) first. The fun part would be that, in order to win, even those members who resented running would let go of their brisk walk and run! If the whole running on the treadmill challenge is not possible, each group member can wear the pedometer and report back the next day with the number of steps taken. The one who has the highest number is declared the winner.

The Balancing Act

Another fun-tastic activity that exerts your core muscles, abdomen, hips, arms, shoulders, and other target areas, would be to balance your body, as if you are a statue! In fact, it would make sense to take this challenge everyday so that the repetition not only helps in targeting your flab, but also improves your balancing skills over time. You can try different exercises―planks, side-leg raises, V-sit position, and the like. Using props, such as the stability ball and boards, will make things all the more interesting. The fun part would be to see people lose their balance, and watching those who would settle for a compromising in-between position making the activity seem all the more funny. Watch out for these funny sights, as they might be enough for you to lose your balance as to try to control your laughter. Many people prefer closing their eyes to gain more focus. As you might have gauged, the one who stays balanced till the end, wins.

The Super-fast Crunches

Who would deny the benefits of crunches when it comes to toning our upper body? Compete with others in the group, and do as many crunches as you can in 3 minutes! You know, there is something that really pushes you to the extreme when you watch others perform. Call it your willpower, ego, or stubbornness, you automatically start neglecting the pain that your abs feel after reaching a certain number. Slowly, you begin to enjoy that pain, and you push yourself till you see everyone else admiring your determination. If you manage to complete the entire 3 minutes, and reach a number that’s like a record (say, 70 crunches in 3 minutes), compete the alternate day again to see if someone else in the group takes over your title. You can try the same approach with different exercises including push-ups, lunges, squats, and rope jumping. Healthy competition can be extremely rewarding!

The Flexibility Goal

It has been observed that most people struggling with weight issues, also have flexibility issues. When alone, they tend to give up easily if they don’t see their fingers reaching their toes without bending their knees, or when they can’t do a perfect split! However, in presence of a group that is willing to support you, perhaps give you some helpful tips to improve your position, attaining your flexibility goal becomes only a matter of time. Give this challenge a time-frame, varying from 10 to 15 days, or more (if need be). The challenge would be to form a position using your flexibility skills. For instance, the group has to work together to make a perfect circle with their body, as shown in the image above. As a reward, each member gets the picture of the attained goal to be proud of the accomplishment. This task is more of a team effort, as opposed to a competition.

The 30-day Weight Loss Challenge

We wouldn’t be surprised if you tell us that you have tried this challenge a zillion times, and something has always gone wrong! Which is why, we insist that you give it a shot along with people who share the same goal. Share videos of a new exercise, pictures of what you’re eating, your thoughts when you need that firm assurance that these efforts are worth it, and motivation to not let go. Monitor weekly results. Get your food journal and share it with others. See where you or they may possibly be going wrong. Compete with each other to lose more in the given time-frame. Share the tips you come across in the process. With so many supportive hands together, you can make this challenge, a cherished success.

Please Note –
The aforementioned ideas can be modified as per the fitness level of the group members, as not everybody has the same capacity to endure the set difficulty level. It would be wise to take consent of every group member before deciding the activity. Also, it should be very clear that these competitions/challenges are healthy, and that no one should take extreme measures to “win”, especially those measures that may prove to be harmful to one’s health.

It is advisable to conduct these exercises/activities under the guidance of a professional. An experienced trainer would help you do the exercise in the right way. Incorrect posture while exercising may end up affecting the body adversely. For instance, exercises such as squats and lunges, if done incorrectly, may strain your knees. A dietitian who is aware of your medical condition (if you have any) such as diabetes, problems related to the heart, and the like, should be consulted while following a specific diet. Make sure all these professionals give each and every group member the go ahead to proceed with these (or any) fitness challenges. Other than that, it is strictly advisable to consult a trusted healthcare specialist before taking up any physical activity or amending a change in your diet. Your health condition would determine if it is okay for you to take up certain exercises. Hence, a professional consultation is a must.