Health Related Fitness
Health related fitness means more to you than just throwing on your running shoes and pounding the roads to get fitter. It is actually your ability to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life, to ward off injuries and illnesses and to recover or cope when they do occur. Sure, aerobic fitness should form part of your overall fitness regime, but it is not the sole component to your health and general wellbeing. That’s because there are several components to health related fitness, and they all work together in unison. Neglecting any one of them will likely cause you some amount of grief sooner or later. So what are these various components?
The 4 Main Components of Health Related Fitness
The four components are your aerobic capacity (or VO2 Max), strength, flexibility, and body composition, and we’ll discuss each of these below. Your aerobic capacity, or VO2 Max, is your body’s ability to utilise oxygen during exercise. By incorporating aerobic training into your health and fitness routine you’ll be able to take part in submaximal intensity exercise such as running and swimming, etc. And for all the other activities you do throughout the day you will find these easier to cope with. To improve your aerobic capacity, you’ll have to get your gear on and do some exercise! It must involve your whole body and last for at least 20 minutes, though 30 minutes or 40 minutes would be better. Even more if you want to. Also, for a long term physiological change you will have to exercise like this at least twice per week, continually.
Strength is an often neglected component of health related fitness, probably because people don’t think of strength as being an integral part of their health and fitness. And because many people don’t like the idea of going to the gym. The good news is that you can perform strength exercises from your own home, without the need for a gym membership. That’s the beauty of home fitness! A great one is circuit training. Basically your strength is your ability to apply some force against a resistance.
For example, if you’re a runner or cyclist, then strong leg muscles are necessary to perform your specific sport and to avoid injury. And there are many different types of leg exercises you can perform, even at home. There are difference types of strength, but for health related fitness it is strength endurance that is most useful. That is your ability to continue working for prolonged periods of time. Flexibility is another component of health related fitness often over looked. It refers to the range of movement around a particular joint. If you have poor flexibility it is because the soft tissues around the joint (tendons, ligaments, muscles) are too tight.
There are different types of stretching, some better and safer than others for different reasons. You should make sure you incorporate these into your fitness regime to help avoid injury. The longer you can remain injury free, the more you can work on your other components without any problems. Take a look at these stretching exercises for more on this. Body composition is the final of the 4 components. This refers to your ratio of lean body mass to body fat. These body fat percentage guidelines should give you an indication of what is a healthy range. But as a quick guide, men should have a body fat range between 10% and 25% dependent on their age, and women between 12% and 25%. More than this can lean to obvious health problems.
Health Related Fitness and Your General and Mental Wellbeing
There has been much research in recent years into the link between exercise and your mood. Basically, there is strong evidence that exercise raises your mood, and can even help with depression. When you exercise your body releases natural endorphins, which are your body’s feel good chemicals. So by performing regular exercise you will naturally feel better about everything and will have a more positive outlook on things. What more of an incentive do you need? And as far as your general wellbeing is concerned, taking a direct interest and taking charge of your health and fitness will have incredible benefits. You’ll decrease your risk of contracting certain diseases and illnesses, include heart disease, strokes, and some cancers. You’ll boost your immune system. You’ll recover quicker from minor ailments and injuries. You’ll feel better and look better. Your confidence and self-esteem will balloon! And so on…
Health and Fitness Questions and Answers
There’s no doubt that you have some questions regarding a healthy, fitter lifestyle, otherwise you wouldn’t be here! If so, ask your questions in the fitness forum, and you will soon have a great answer. You can ask any question you like regarding the components of health related fitness discussed above, or any question at all regarding health and fitness for that matter.