The Parts of Physical Fitness
When you see a person who is good at sports do you assume that the person is physically fit? You might be
surprised to know that this assumption is not always true. It is true that a person who excels in sports needs a
certain degree of physical fitness. However, being good at a specific skill such as running may not be a good
indicator of total physical fitness; some sports require only certain parts of physical fitness.
Physical fitness is made up of 11 different parts; 5 parts are health related and 6 parts are skill related. As the
terms imply, health-related physical fitness helps you to stay healthy, while skill-related physical fitness helps
you perform well in sports and activities that require certain skills.
Health-Related Physical Fitness
As you read about each part of health-related physical fitness next, ask yourself how fit you think you are in
Cardiovascular fitness is the ability to exercise your entire body for long periods of time without
stopping. Cardiovascular fitness requires a strong heart, healthy lungs, and clear blood vessels to
supply the cells of your body with oxygen they need.
Strength is the amount of force your muscles can produce. Strength is often measure by how much
weight you can lift or how much resistance you can overcome. People with good strength can
perform daily tasks efficiently – that is, with the least amount of effort.
Muscular endurance is the ability to use your muscles many times without tiring. People with good
muscular endurance are likely to have better posture and fewer back problems.
Flexibility is the ability to use your joints fully through a wide range of motion. You are flexibly
when your muscles are long enough and your joints are free enough to allow adequate movement.
People with good flexibility have fewer sore and injured muscles.
Body fatness is the percentage of body weight that is made up of fat when compared to the other
body tissues, such as bone and muscle. For example, a person who weighs 100 pounds, 20 pounds
of which is fat, is said to have a body fat level of 20 percent. People who are in a healthy range of
body fatness are more likely to avoid illness and even have lower death rates than those outside
the healthy range. The extreme ranges are most dangerous. Too little or too much body fat can
cause health problems.
How much of each of the five health-related parts of fitness do you think you have? To be healthy, you should
have some of each. If you do, you are less likely to develop hypokinetic conditions – health problems caused
partly by lack of physical activity. Examples include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis,
colon cancer, and being over-fat.
People who are physically fit feel better, look better, and have more energy. You do not have to be a great
athlete to have good health and to be physically fit. Regular physical activity can improve anyone’s health-
related physical fitness.
What are the 5 components of fitness? __________________________________________
Living a Healthy and Active life will help avoid _________________________
Name at least 3 different examples of hypokinetic conditions ________________________
Does/did anyone in your family have one of these conditions? Which ones? ____________
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