Fitness is the body’s ability to function effectively and efficiently without becoming fatigued both physically and mentally when taking part in a sport or when meeting the demands of a physical activity. Lifestyle and level of participation in any sports and physical activities will depend on the overall amount of fitness you possess.
When we refer to fitness, we often only consider one aspect of the body’s ability to perform something such as a long distance run. But this is just one aspect of fitness. In order to perform effectively in any sporting or physical activity there are a whole variety of key elements that must be considered including physical, skill and mental. Below is a detailed list of all the different aspects of fitness you should consider.
Cardio-Respiratory Endurance: Cardio-respiratory endurance or simply CRE is the ability of your heart and lungs to provide the working muscles with oxygenated blood for a prolonged period of time. Poor cardio will result in you becoming breathless more quickly and you will be unable to maintain a reasonable level physical and mental exertion.
Strength: Strength is the maximum force that a muscle can exert as it contracts. Strength can be further divided into what’s called static strength which is when the muscles contract and hold one position and dynamic strength when the muscles move contracting and extending and explosive strength or power when the muscle contraction happens at speed.
Muscular Endurance: Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to perform repeated contractions for extended periods of time without tiring. If the muscles tire, due to poor muscular endurance, then you will be unable to make effective use of the muscles. A swimmer in particular requires muscular endurance in the upper body in order to consistently use the arms for the duration of the swim.
Flexibility: Flexibility is the overall range of movement possible at, across or around a joint and is also referred to as suppleness and aids when required to stretch and reach further.
Speed: Speed allows the whole body or part of the body to move very quickly.
Power: Power is a combination of use of strength and speed at the same time.
Agility: Agility is your ability to change the position of your body quickly, precisely and with control. Agility uses a combination of speed and flexibility.
Balance: Balance is the ability to retain the centre of gravity above the base of support when stationary which is called static balance or when moving which is called dynamic balance. Muscles work together to keep the body in a balanced position.
Timing: Timing is your ability to apply an action or movement at an exact moment and with the correct emphasis.
Coordination: Coordination is your ability to move two or more body parts together, in a smooth and fluent action.
Reaction time: Reaction time is the time between the presentation of a stimulus and the onset of a movement.
Mental-Aspects Of Fitness
Mental Preparation: This is when you think about or visualise a successful performance such as a run before carrying it out.
Concentration: Concentration is your ability to stay focussed on and be fully aware of what is going on around you.
Confidence: Confidence is having a positive frame of mind, in which you feel that you can perform successfully.
Motivation: Motivation is your internal feelings and or external encouragement, which makes you want to do well at something.
Level Of Arousal: Level of arousal is the level of excitement, stress, nervousness and aggression you feel as you get prepared to participate in an activity.
Relaxation: Relaxation is your ability to free the mind from tension and anxiety when under pressure.