What is Physical Fitness?

What is Physical Fitness?

Physical fitness refers to a state in which your body can operate efficiently with less fatigue and diseases, including cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and an ideal body composition.

Many types of exercise provide multiple advantages, including aerobics and yoga which develop both cardiorespiratory endurance and muscle strength, as well as strength training which increases muscle size through fiber hypertrophy and neural changes.


Physical fitness can be defined as the capacity of one’s body to carry out daily tasks efficiently with little risk of disease and fatigue, and includes balance, agility, coordination, speed & power and endurance as elements that make up physical fitness.

Health-related physical fitness refers to six components, commonly referred to as health-related physical fitness by scientists in kinesiology, that together can significantly lower your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and obesity by improving overall health and well being – this includes body composition, cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility.

Physical fitness allows you to meet life’s demands more easily, including schoolwork, housework and chores, while maintaining energy for leisure pursuits or unexpected emergencies. Furthermore, physical fitness allows you to participate in your favorite sports and other recreational activities more comfortably and enjoyably; runners tend to excel at this.


Physical fitness not only lowers risks of heart disease, diabetes and obesity but it also improves overall wellness and quality of life. Regular exercise stimulates brain cell growth while simultaneously increasing mental clarity and increasing self-esteem.

Physical fitness ensures you can perform everyday activities, like raking leaves, stocking shelves at a part-time job and marching in a band without feeling fatigued; and it provides enough energy to enjoy leisure pursuits as well as respond swiftly in emergency situations.

An athlete, for instance, might possess good cardiorespiratory endurance but fall short in other areas. To achieve optimal health and fitness, all six parts of physical fitness must be well developed; strength training (muscular strength and endurance), flexibility exercises and aerobic activities should all help enhance functional ability and reduce injury risk. It is therefore vitally important that both aerobic and strength-training activities be done daily.


Physical fitness can be divided into two broad categories – health-related and skill-related components. Health-related fitness includes muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, body composition balance coordination speed or quickness as six individual elements of fitness.

Regular physical activity has been linked with decreased risks for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, enhanced bone health, decreased depression, higher energy levels and even the prevention of cancers and other diseases. Exercise also improves muscle strength and flexibility as well as cardiovascular endurance.

Cardiovascular endurance refers to your ability to exercise for long periods without tiring out. Activities that increase cardiovascular endurance include running, walking, swimming, cycling, dancing and circuit training. Regular physical activity helps improve balance and coordination as well as agility and reaction time for sports such as basketball or baseball as well as prevent falls and increase safety. Agility, speed and power fitness components also play a critical role for sports like these requiring motor skills such as basketball or baseball.


Dependent upon your goals, there are various forms of exercises to meet fitness standards. Each exercise type has a distinct impact on the body.

Aerobic (cardiovascular) activities help you improve both heart and lung health as well as maintain a healthy weight by walking, running, swimming and biking – among others. You can even get aerobic exercise by engaging in daily tasks like gardening or cleaning the house!

Strength training increases muscle size and helps build endurance. Examples of strength training include lifting weights or using an elliptical trainer; flexibility exercises — like Tai Chi or Yoga — stretch the muscles and joints to keep them limber and reduce the chance of injury.

Muscular endurance refers to your ability to exert yourself for prolonged periods without becoming fatigued, making it essential in sports such as cycling, swimming, running and stair climbing which require sustained physical exertion.

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