KIN 140 Section 7 Dr Mike Walsh
A. What is Physical Fitness?
Physical fitness is the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigour and alertness, without
undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure time pursuits and to meet
unforeseen emergencies. Thus, physical fitness is the ability to last, to bear up, to
withstand stress, and to persevere under difficult circumstances where an unfit person
B. Components of Physical Fitness
1. Cardiovascular Fitness
Cardiovascular fitness is also identified as cardiovascular endurance, cardiorespiratory
endurance, and aerobic power. Cardiovascular fitness is the quality that enables one to
endure reasonably vigorous physical activity for extended periods. Generally
speaking, cardiovascular fitness is involved in activities that require the use of much of
the body's large musculature (for example, running, swimming, cycling, or exercise to
music) because these activities force the heart and circulatory system and the
respiratory system to operate at a much higher level than usual.
These activities are those that must be terminated when one's circulatory and
respiratory systems can no longer meet the demands of the activity. Cardiorespiratory
capacity is dependent on the body's ability to take in, transport, and utilize oxygen.
2. Muscular Endurance
Muscular endurance is the quality that enables one to persist in localized muscle-group
activities for extended periods. Think of the typical tests that involve primarily local
muscle groups, such as pull-ups and push-ups; these tests are usually terminated
because the local muscle groups are unable to respond further, not because of
inadequate performance of the cardiorespiratory system in general.
Strength, in a simplified definition, is defined as the maximal force exerted in one
effort. Its primary limitation is the amount of muscle cross-sectional area. 2
Flexibility is defined as the fundamental capacity of a joint to move through a normal
range of motion. It is specific to given joints and is actually more dependent upon the
musculature and connective tissue surrounding a joint than on the actual bony
structure of the joint itself (except in cases of disease or disorders of the skeletal
system or its joints).
5. Body Composition
Body composition is most simply defined as the relative percentages of fat and fat-free
body mass. Excess amounts of body fat take the form of excess baggage that makes it
more difficult to perform many types of physical activities.
Note: the above components of physical fitness are the one’s most commonly found on
such a list. These components are the health-related components of physical fitness.
Other components are skill-related aspects of physical fitness. These additional
components include agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed.
C. Health Aspects of PhysicalActivity
Sedentary (low activity) people have 50 % more health problems than active people.
Lack of physical activity is a risk factor for many health concerns:
Regular CV exercise lowers blood pressure about 10 mm Hg.
Regular CV exercise increases the number of glucose transporters in muscle membranes
and increase one's sensitivity to insulin.
Either regular CV exercise or strengthening exercise can create fat loss.
Mostly, CV burns fats during exercise and strength training burns fats after exercise. 3
Exercise can increase HDL and the ratio of HDL to LDL fats as well as lower total blood
The loss of bone density that occurs with age can be quite disabling if one starts from a
low density. Strength and weight bearing exercises increase bone density.
Lack of exercise is a risk factor for some cancers. Recently breast cancer has been
identified as one such cancer. One possible mechanism for this is an increase in enzymes
that remove free radicals.
Both the lower blood fats and greater angiogenesis can reduce the risk of,