Physical fitness is the capacity to demonstrate a set of physical skills that enable an individual with the ability to perform specific tasks effectively and efficiently. Take note that these skills also correspond to the dimensions of physical fitness.
The Five Dimensions of Physical Fitness
Promoting and maintaining physical fitness through physical fitness training or exercise lead to numerous health benefits. However, it should be noted that training programs or exercise regiments should be aligned with end goals. These goals are based on the five dimension of physical fitness.
1. Physical Strength
Physical strength or power is the ability of an individual to carry his or her weight and even lift heavy objects without the assistance from others. Muscular capacity and body composition determine this dimension of physical fitness. Hence, it also corresponds to the amount of force the muscles of an individual can exert, as well as the number of repetitive contractions against a resistance these muscles can sustain over a period. Examples of activities or physical fitness aimed at improving physical strength include all forms of strength training or resistance exercises such as bodyweight workouts and weightlifting.
2. Cardiovascular Endurance
Cardiovascular endurance or cardiorespiratory fitness is another dimension of physical fitness defined as the capacity of the circulatory and respiratory systems to effectively and efficiently transport blood and oxygen to the active muscles of the body. This is measured by suitable heart rate levels, lung capacity, and metabolic rate. Activities aimed at promoting cardiovascular endurance include brisk walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, and biking, as well as playing certain sports such as basketball, lawn tennis, and badminton, or performing aerobic activities, among others.
Balance enables an individual to sustain equilibrium or to maintain the line of gravity of his or her body within the base of support with minimal to zero posture sway. Note that there are two types of balance: static and dynamic. Static balance is about maintaining equilibrium when stationary or while at rest. Dynamic balance is involved in maintaining equilibrium when moving. Examples of activities aimed at developing this dimension of physical fitness include lower-body strength training, Pilates exercises, and yoga.
Flexibility is determined by the capacity to perform bodily movements in a different range of motions or to move the joints within their respective full range of motion. Improving and maintaining flexibility also improve balance and mobility, while also allowing an individual to perform other physical activities without the risk of injury or pain. Stretching exercises, Pilates workouts, and yoga can help promote and improve this dimension of physical fitness.
Coordination is the ability to combine and control multiple movements at once with effectiveness and efficiency. Note that this dimension of physical fitness is complex because it also requires good balance, physical strength, and flexibility. It is also an essential component of different sports. Some examples of activities aimed at developing coordination include obstacle course training, specific agility training, and other types of balance and strength exercises.