Physical fitness is defined as a set of characteristics enhancing performance of physical activity and decreasing your risk of premature health concerns. Your fitness level is the product of a combination of healthy behaviors, such as exercising and eating a balanced diet. Good qualities of physical fitness include a lean body composition, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance.
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One overt sign of physical fitness is a lean body composition. A lean body composition is determined by assessing the ratio of body fat to muscle mass, bone and other body parts. Low body fat coupled with significant muscle mass is typically indicative of a lean, fit body. Maintaining a healthy body weight and engaging in aerobic and strength-training exercises can improve your body composition. A benefit of obtaining a lean body is a decreased risk of heart disease. Alternatively, a large amount of fat around the abdomen increases your risk of heart disease, Colorado University reports.
One characteristic of a physically fit person is flexibility, the ability to move the joints through a full range of motion without pain. Flexibility is joint specific, as each joint in the body possesses a separate range of motion. Stretching the joints and muscles daily can help enhance your flexibility and range of motion. The benefits of achieving adequate flexibility include decreased risk of injury, less stiffness, increased agility and enhanced coordination.
One good quality of physical fitness includes cardiovascular endurance. Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the respiratory and circulatory systems to provide oxygen to the body during sustained exercise. Achieve cardiovascular fitness by engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of continuous aerobic activity five to seven days per week. The advantages of attaining cardiovascular fitness include a decreased risk of heart disease, a strong heart, decreased levels of bad cholesterol and increased levels of good cholesterol.
Muscular Strength and Endurance
Muscular strength and endurance are two separate concepts of physical fitness that incorporate the use of the muscles. Muscular strength is the amount of force applied against resistance, Colorado University reports. For example, you use muscular strength when lifting a box or bench pressing weights. Muscular endurance is the ability to continuously use your muscular strength without fatigue. For example, a person with good muscular endurance could perform consecutive pushups or repetitive squats without fatigue. The benefits of having good muscular strength and endurance include improved athletic performance, less risk of injury, enhanced balance and decreased stiffness.