The Key Components of Physical Fitness

So tell me what it means?!

The 3 key components of physical fitness are :  Aerobic, Strength and Flexibility.  In and ideal world you should aim to include all three in your weekly exercise routines.  Here is a little more information to help you work out what’s what!

Aerobic
Definition: any sustained activity that is vigorous enough to raise the pulse.

Prescribing aerobic programmes will include the 4 principals of FITT—Frequency, Intensity, Time & Type

Frequency—above average fitness can be maintained with 3 to 4 regular workouts per week

Intensity—Heart rates are monitored –noticeable gains are seen when heart rate rises to 60-85% of Max Heart Rate.  We also use Perceived Rate of Exertion, with ‘0’ effort being nothing, and ‘10’ being maximal.

Time– Minimum length of time for aerobic benefit is 15-20 minutes.

Type–  Vigorous, continuous & rhythmic activities, such as: Cycling; Rowing; Running; Walking; Stepping; Boxing carried out at a sustained rate will provide the best aerobic benefit


Strength
Definition:exercises that work specific muscles by resistance/repetitions, like lifting weights or own body weight.

Resistance training can be used for one or more of the following purposes—to:

Increase strength-the ability to exert force.  8-12reps/2-3sets/slow control/2-3min rest

Improve power-the ability to exert force in a short period of time.  4-8reps/3-6sets/fast/3-5min rest

Add lean body tissue-the hypertrophy of muscle to increase size.  6-20reps/3-5sets/slow/1-2min rest

Improve muscular endurance-the capacity of a muscle/group to keep contracting efficiently over extended period of time.  15-30reps/2-3sets/med/minimal rest

Resistance training regimes are different for each requirement, as listed above, but they can also be combined

Flexibility
Definition: the possible range of motion or movement of a joint or group of joints.

Through regular stretching the muscles capacity to extend fully is increased, thus allowing the joint a greater range of motion.  Without regular stretching muscles tend to lose their flexibility, which can lead reduced range of movement and muscle injury.

Factors affecting flexibility include:

Exercise—more active people tend to be more flexible.

Age—stiffness is associated with ageing as elasticity is lost resulting in tighter stiffer muscles.  Warming up– produces an increase in muscle temperature.

Sex—females tend to be more flexible than males.

Flexibility training needs to be regular, 3 to 4 times per week.  Noticeable increases can be achieved in 2 to 3 weeks.
Should I ask my doctor for permission to include exercise or activity?  Well, if you haven’t been active or included exercise in your daily life for a great deal of time, or if you are currently suffering with an ongoing illness or disability, then we would recommend a quick visit to your GP.

"They helped me set realistic goals, with challenging yet achievable milestones" Susanne

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