What are the 5 components of fitness and why do you need to know these 5 components of fitness? The answer is that knowledge is the first step to taking action to improve your health and fitness. As Plato is rumored to have said, but is among those pithy internet quotes that Plato never made1)http://www.mesacc.edu/~davpy35701/text/plato-things-not-said.html: “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge”.2)https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato384673.html In addition, if you are studying for NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Personal Trainer Certification, you better know them.
Therefore, when you come across the question “what are the 5 components of fitness?” on your test, you will know the answer by the acronym – C B S E F .
The first component of fitness to be familiar with is cardiovascular fitness. What is the cardiovascular system? Your cardiovascular system includes your heart, blood cells and lungs. Cardiovascular fitness is the ability to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscle tissues. Cardio fitness is the ability of the muscles to use oxygen. This helps you produce energy for movement3)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiovascular_fitness. A sobering fact is that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women4)https://www.cardiosmart.org/Heart-Basics/CVD-Stats.
Therefore, we start off with the most critical of the 5 components of fitness, the health of your heart. Because losing weight alone is not a fitness program. Therefore, the most fundamental component of fitness is to improve the health of your heart.
One way to ensure that you get your cardio in for the day is to get moving before breakfast. Wake up a little earlier and go out for a walk, run or the elliptical.
The skeletal muscles are under your neural control. Your thoughts control the movement of your skeleton. You have no other control of your organs. For example, you do not control your heartbeat, digestion, respiration, cellular processes.
You only control your ability to move.
To begin a fitness program, start moving first. Before worrying about what you will eat, think about physical activity. This is as simple as going for a 30 minute walk every day. You can bike, swim, jog, ski, walk, just get more active.
What is the recommendation of NASM, the National Academy of Sports Medicine?
NASM’s recommendation is to get a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. For a minimum total of 150 minutes a week of physical activity.
Number two of the key 5 components of fitness is body composition. The easiest place to start is to determine if you are at your ideal body weight. Here is a simple formula to easily calculate your ideal body weight based on your height using the Hamwi method.5)http://www.scymed.com/en/smnxpn/pndfc237.htm
The ideal body weight formula is 100 – 106 pounds for your first 5 feet of height, plus 5 – 6 pounds for every additional inch.
The ideal body weight formula is 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height, plus 5 pounds for each additional inch.
Once you know your ideal body weight, now it is time to find out where you are now. Go jump on your scale and see if your weight is anywhere close to your ideal body weight. 75 percent of adults are either overweight or obese, so, do not sweat it.
You will get leaner faster than you think possible following the Fit Apprentice plan.
Body Fat Percentage
Weight is not the only variable when it comes to health and fitness. You also want to achieve a healthier body fat percentage.
The American Council on Exercise suggests the following:
In men, the average body fat percentage ranges from 22.9% at age 16–19 years to 30.9% at age 60–79 years.6)https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5751a4.htm. Clearly, based on current body fat levels, most men and women over 50 are overfat.
75 percent of adults over 20 are overweight, therefore, overfat is a common condition. The problem with excess fat is that it increases your cardiometabolic risk. What is cardiometabolic risk?
Cardiometabolic risk refers to your chances of having diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
Overfat is the condition of having more body fat than is good for health.
The percentage of body fat that can cause health problems, especially cardiometabolic risk, is surprisingly low.
Lohman’s criteria of suggested cutoffs >17.6% for males and >31.6% for females is widely accepted in body composition research. However, measurable health impairments associated with ≥2 cardiometabolic abnormalities were found at DXA-derived body fat levels >15.3% in men and >29.8% in women.
Therefore, a man with more than 15.3% body fat, and a woman with more than 29.8%, are at higher health risk and are overfat.7)http://roguehealthandfitness.com/americans-are-now-fatter-ever/
Get a Scale which Includes BMI and Body Fat Percentage
If you do not have a scale, you need to get one. Here are two simple options:
This first one is the Conair Scale which I have used over the past 7 years.
Measures body fat, body water, BMI, and bone mass
Has a 4-user memory; and a 400 lb/182 kg capacity
Sleek, streamlined design with Safety tempered glass platform and High-visibility LCD display
Large 1.5-inch digital display; 11.8 inch x 12.5 inch frame
Long-life lithium battery (CR-2032) included
I have gotten great use out of this scale. In fact, using this scale, I have lost 100 pounds plus over the last 5 years. When I started my journey, I was over 30 percent body fat, as of today, I am 16 percent.
Click on the image of the scale above or this link here to get this scale.
This is a bluetooth smart connected body fat scale.
Large digital backlit LCD
Precision/Accurate Measurements include:
PS: You can help support this site by purchasing through these links at no extra cost to you.
Muscular strength is the third of the five components of fitness.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), muscular strength is the maximal force a muscle or muscle group can exert during a contraction. Muscular strength is usually measured with a one-rep maximum (1-RM) test. During a 1-RM, an exerciser performs one repetition of a single exercise to see how much weight he or she can lift.8)https://www.verywell.com/how-to-increase-muscular-strength-3496121
For example, what is the maximum amount of weight you can deadlift one time?
Having said that, please do not attempt to find out.
Deadlifts, one of the greatest muscle strengthening exercises is also one of the most dangerous.
Especially if you have no training.
So, suffice it to say that strong muscles are one of your best friends.
Stronger muscles make everything easier in your life.
Getting in and out of your car, walking, leisure, just your normal activities of daily living.
With stronger muscles, you become more functional.
In addition, building muscle mass improves your metabolism and can reverse insulin resistance.
Build Muscle or Lose Fat First?
The first two components of fitness, cardio fitness and body composition, are the first two steps of your journey to better health and fitness.
Most people can spend between six months and a year getting into the habit of daily exercise and smarter eating habits.
It is much easier to get your eating under control than trying to lose fat and build muscle at the same time.
Especially if you are significantly overweight or obese.
Once you are at a more comfortable weight, you can start building strength.
You do not necessarily need to use weights in a gym.
All you need is a floor and you can begin to do pushups and squats.
If you have a doorway, you can add a chin up bar for chinups or pullups.
When you are ready for weights, you can get started with basic barbell training.
You only need a handful of core compound barbell exercises to build muscle mass.
Remember though, you can never outtrain a bad diet.
If you think that weightlifting and having a thanksgiving meal every day of the week will get you lean, forget about it.
You need to first get into the habit of daily physical activity and seeing food as fuel, not just entertainment.
Then you can start a more focused strength building plan.
An excellent resource for weight lifting is Mark Rippetoe’s classic book Starting Strength.
Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time. It is one of the key 5 components of fitness, along with cardio fitness, body composition, and muscular strength.
You can improve your muscular endurance by doing normal activities for a longer duration.
For example, you can extend your continuous walking time up to 30 minutes.
Once you can do thirty minutes, walk up to an hour.
Or you can bike, swim or do the elliptical for a longer period of time.
Similarly, you can do pushups, bodyweight squats or sit ups to failure.
When you are starting out on your fitness journey, walking or elliptical is the safest bet.
Gradual improvement is always better than burning yourself out for a week a dropping your training.
The best workout is the one you stick with.
So do not burn yourself out.
Flexibility is the pain free range of motion in a joint or group of joints or the ability to move joints effectively through a complete range of motion.
Anyone over the age of 50 probably knows that is not so simple.
We need to start stretching and staying flexible, especially as we move beyond 50.
Can you touch your toes from a standing position?
If not, then you know where to start.
Every morning, carefully raise your arms over your head and then bend to touch your toes.
Start with one repetition and work up to ten.
Hold each stretch for up to 30 seconds, without bouncing.
You should stretch every single day.
Do not let your body get stiff.
Walk, stretch, work out.
5 Components of Fitness – C B S E F
- Cardiovascular Fitness
- Body Composition
- Muscular Strength
- Muscular Endurance
Knowing the five components of fitness can motivate you to take action:
- Get active, at the minimum, physical activity like walking for 30 minutes a day.
- Eat real food, follow the principles of the Fit Apprentice training program.
- Start a strength training routine, even at home, with pushups and squats.
- Walk for an up to an hour at a shot on weekends.
- Start stretching, even simple stretches to improve your flexibility.
Please leave your comments on the 5 components of fitness.
References [ + ]
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