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by inKin
24 Nov

5 Faces Of Fitness You Should Know About

Do you know that fitness includes five key criteria that are equally important for your health? Read on to find out what are those and how to be really fit.

The official definition of fitness, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is "a set of attributes  that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity."

This definition is often taken as the ability to do things like run long distances and lift heavy weights. Fitness doesn't have to mean that. And while these skills are important, the main idea is that fitness means the capacity to do the physical things you normally do and do them for the length of time you need to do them.

  • Physical fitness can help ward off some diseases.
  • Stretching to increase flexibility can ease some medical complaints.
  • Activity can make changes in the heart leading to better circulation.

Medically, fitness is measured through 5 main criteria.

  1. Cardiovascular fitness.
  2. Muscular strength.
  3. Muscular endurance.
  4. Body composition.
  5. Flexibility.

 

1. Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular Health | inKin Fitness Blog

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How well the circulatory system (the heart and blood vessels) and lungs can supply oxygen and nutrients to the cells has a big effect on both strength and endurance, as well as mental alertness. Poor blood circulation and heart-related health problems are the main cause of serious illnesses and death. Activities that improve the cardiovascular system are those that cause your heart to beat faster for a sustained length of time.

This kind of activity

  • Strengthens the muscles in the heart so that more blood is pumped with each heartbeat.
  • Small arteries grow within muscle tissue so that more blood can be delivered to muscles.
  • The size of the heart increases. Changes vary with the kind of activity.
  • The lungs take in more oxygen so that the lungs are used more effectively.
  • Cardiovascular fitness reduces the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

Cardiovascular conditioning exercises, often called "aerobic exercises," should begin at a slower pace and gradually increase in intensity. They especially include:

 

2. Muscular Strength

Muscular Strenght | inKin Fitness Blog

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Measures of muscular strength involve lifting or pushing against standard weights and resistances. The more the muscle is challenged by lifting and pressing, the more the muscle will strengthen and the potential power of the muscle will increase. Providing protein intake is sufficient, anything that works for a muscle group until it tires will, with time, increase the strength of the muscles and increase the time until fatigue sets in.

  • Training causes the long muscle cells to expand.
  • Strength exercises cause the nerve impulses that instigate motion to fire as a unit in a synchronous way increasing potential power.
  • The body lifts the limits it puts on muscles that keep them from being damaged, allowing for more power to be exerted.

 

3. Muscular Endurance

Miscular Endurance

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Endurance refers to the length of time muscles can continue to work before tiring. Endurance does not necessarily mean greater strength or power. Endurance training does not involve maximum strength output of the muscles but focuses on the cardiovascular system. There are two muscle groups that specialize in muscular endurance:

  • Fast twitch fibers that contract quickly but tire quickly. These are special white muscle fibers that do not require blood to function. Fast twitch muscles use a lot of energy and are useful for short bursts of activity.
  • Slow twitch fibers are applied for long-duration endurance tasks. They are found in muscles that control posture and activities that require power over long periods of time.

Sprinting and short activity bursts build fast twitch fibers within muscles. Long-distance or marathon running builds slow twitch fibers in muscles.

 

4. Body Composition

Body Composition | inKin Fitness Blog

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Body composition refers to the relative amounts of muscle, bone, water and fat comprising the body. People with a high muscle proportion will weigh more than those with the same height and waist size but with less muscle, because muscle weighs more than fat per volume. In general, greater muscle mass means better fitness. Percentages of the muscles of conditioned athletes are around 45 percent for men (depending on the sport), and around 35 percent for women.

 

5. Flexibility

Flexibility | inKin Fitness Blog

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Flexibility refers to the range of motion possible in key joints. If flexibility is high, motions can be linked smoothly together. Flexibility is important for preventing injuries. Aging and gradual joint wear severely limit flexibility. However, maximum flexibility can be maintained with three types of exercise:

  • Dynamic stretching means regularly trying out a full range of motion in particular muscles at the joints they affect. This kind of exercise is generally associated with "warm ups" for more intense exercise or sports.
  • Static-active stretching refers to exercise where a particular joint is held in a stretched position for a period of time.
  • Ballistic stretching is only used when the muscles are already "warmed up." It involves stretching the muscles in various positions while bouncing. Some orthopedic surgeons warn that ballistic stretching can cause injuries.

Whatever your fitness goals are, you can always find a perfect workout to meet your needs and help you become healthier and happier every day.

 

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

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