What is Physical Fitness?

What is Physical Fitness?

"The physical components of well-being that enable a person to function at an optimal level" cred. American Council on Exercise; but to each of us it may mean something different, but one thing I believe we can all agree on is that is good for you.

Physical fitness has four major areas;

  • Muscular fitness
  • Body Composition
  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Flexibility

Now let's dig in...

Muscular Fitness

Muscular fitness is broken down into two components, muscular strength and muscular endurance. Muscular strength is the max force one can produce during one contraction, very important during our everyday use such as getting up off of a chair or putting luggage in the above head compartment on a plane; as we get older muscular strength decreases that's why most times elderly people have difficulty standing up or performing other muscle oriented activities, luckily that can be prevented by participating in a regular resistance exercise. The second component, muscular endurance, is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to exert force against resistance for sustained period of time. An example of that in our everyday lives is walking up the stairs.

Body Composition

Body composition is composed of lean body mass and body fat. Lean body mass being your skin, blood, organs...Lean body mass tends to decrease with age, inactivity or some diseases. Exercise can help with increasing you lean body mass, which is a good thing. Body fat stores energy, although we don't want much of it (2-5% for men or 10-13% for women in order to survive) it is needed.

Cardiovascular Endurance

Cardiovascular endurance is max ability of the heart, blood and lungs to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. This is important because the higher the cardiovascular endurance is the longer the individual will be able to endure a workout.


Flexibility is the ability to move joints at their full potential. Flexibility is super important in order to prevent injuries, and to be able to complete everyday activities such as rotating or bending over.

Again, remember that, "The physical components of well-being that enable a person to function at an optimal level" is what we know as physical activity, BUT how you go about it, MAKE IT YOUR OWN, MAKE IT FUN AND STAY ACTIVE! I really hope that brake down helps a bit more and any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Note: Info is based on findings from the American Council of Exercise and personal experience