What is Fitness?

Physical Fitness, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), can be defined as “a state characterised by a) an ability to perform daily activities with vigour and b) a demonstration of traits and capacities that are associated with low risk of premature development of the hypokinetic disorders (i.e. those associated with physical inactivity”.

The most frequently cited components of physical fitness fall into two groups, one related to health and the other related to athletic skills.

Health Related Fitness typically includes cardio-respiratory endurance, body composition, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility.

The concept that underlies health-related fitness is that better status in each of the constituent components is associated with lower risk for development of disease and/or functional disability.

-Cardiorespiratory Endurance - the ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues, and to remove wastes, over sustained periods of time.

- Muscular Strength - the ability of a muscle to exert force for a brief period of time.

- Muscular Endurance - the ability of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to sustain repeated contractions or to continue applying force against a fixed object.

- Flexibility - the ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion.

- Body Composition - refers to the makeup of the body in terms of lean mass (muscle, bone, vital tissue and organs) and fat mass.

Skill Related Fitness consists of those components of physical fitness that have a relationship with enhanced performance in sports and motor skills. The components are commonly defined as agility, balance, coordination, power, speed and reaction time.

- Agility - the ability to rapidly change the position of the entire body in space with speed and accuracy.

- Balance - the ability to control the body's position, either stationary or while moving.

- Co-ordination - the ability to use the senses, such as sight and hearing, together with body parts in performing motor tasks smoothly and accurately.

- Power - the rate at which one can perform work.

- Speed – the ability to perform a movement within a short period of time.

- Reaction Time – relates to the time elapsed between stimulation and the beginning of reaction to it.