There are five areas of health-related fitness. They are heart and lung
endurance or cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance,
flexibility, and body composition.
Heart and lung endurance or cardiovascular endurance is the
ability to exercise the entire body for long periods of time. It requires a strong
heart, healthy lungs, and clear blood vessels to supply the body with oxygen.
Activities to improve fitness in this area include running, swimming, and aerobic
dance. A person must do the activity continuously for a minimum of 20 minutes
within their target heart rate zone. Endurance/cardiovascular activity should be
done a minimum of 3 days per week. Every other day is preferable. The mile or
the pacer will measure fitness testing in this area.
Muscular Strength is the amount of force you can put forth with your
muscles. It is often measured by how much weight you can lift. People with
strength have fewer problems with backaches and can carry out their daily tasks
efficiently. Examples of muscular strength include push-ups, weight lifting heavyweight with few repetitions, and pull-ups. Fitness testing will be measured by
Muscular Endurance is the ability to use the muscles, which are
attached to the bones, many times without getting tired. People with good
muscular endurance are likely to have better posture, have fewer back problems,
and be better able to resist fatigue than people who lack muscular endurance.
You can improve muscular endurance by lifting weights with many repetitions or
doing sit-ups. Measuring the number of sit-ups you can do correctly is used for
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Flexibility is the ability to use your joints fully. You are flexible when
the muscles are long enough and the joints are free enough to allow movement.
People with good flexibility have fewer sore and injured muscles. Stretching
before and after activities will help to improve flexibility. The sit-and-reach and
the trunk lift are two tests used to measure flexibility.
Body Composition is the percentage of body weight that is fast
compared to other body tissue, such as bone and muscle. People who have a
high percentage of fat are more likely to be ill and have a higher death rate than
lean people. Exercise and eating the right foods in the proper amounts can
improve body composition. Body composition can be measured using an
instrument called calipers, a specialized scale, or it can be calculated by using the
body mass index (BMI) which uses height and weight to determine your BMI.