5 Components of Physical Fitness; Rx For A Well Balanced Program Of Exercise


The 5 components of physical fitness are comprised of five characteristics. When developing an exercise routine, these five characteristics should be considered. They are muscular strength, muscular endurance,aerobic fitness, flexibility/balance, and body composition.google_ad_client="ca-pub-2542438135487286";google_ad_slot="9013926457";google_ad_width=300;google_ad_height=250;


Muscular Strength

The first of the 5 components of physical fitness is muscular strength. After age 50 strength declines by 15% per decade. After age 70 strength declines by 30% per decade. Establishing a program of resistance exercise will help older adults to stop and reverse the loss of muscular strength. The benefit is the capacity to move more freely, and to have more mobility in everyday activities such as walking and climbing stairs.


Muscular Endurance

The ability to exert effort over an extended period is accomplished by muscular endurance. The intensity of effort would vary depending on the activity involved. If training for sports activities the amount of exercise would probably be more intense than for general fitness. Aerobic exercises would help to develop muscular endurance as well as light training with weights.


Aerobic Fitness

Aerobic exercise helps to improve the bodies ability to use oxygen. This would contribute to muscular endurance as well as muscular strength because the muscles need oxygen to function fully when exerting physical effort.

Another important thing to remember is that aerobic exercise also benefits your heart and lungs. It is always a good idea to combine both strength training and aerobic training to have a complete program.


Flexibility and Balance

Flexibility is an important aspect of fitness. Seniors especially need to include some stretching in their daily routine. Stretching helps to loosen the muscles before exercise, which helps prevent injury. It also helps to keep you more mobile in your daily activities. When muscles are weakened from lack of use, stretching can help to strengthen muscles and improve joint health. With added flexibility it is possible to prevent many of the falls that seniors tend to experience as they they older.

Along with flexibility, it is important for seniors to improve their balance. Fall related deaths for men and women over 65 increased significantly from 1993-2003, according to the Center for Disease Control. People are living longer than ever before and often tend to be frail.Therefore older adults need to be encouraged to follow steps to decrease the chances of falling due to lack of balance.

The best way to start to improve balance is simply to start walking. Taking a walk every day can do a lot to improve balance. Of course, the added benefit is improved health. At first, short walks are advised. Then as you continue take longer strides and longer walks. Time yourself as you gradually increase time and distance.

If you are new to regular walking, make sure that your doctor is aware of your new routine. Start out very slowly and challenge yourself to improve over time. Even walking down your driveway and back could be a good start for you.


Body Composition

Body composition is the last of the 5 components of physical fitness. It is a percentage of fat, bone, and muscle in the human body. Muscular tissue takes up less space in the body than fat tissue. Leanness is determined by body composition as well as weight. Lowering the fat to muscle ratio can help in improving overall health.

The average male adult 50+ should have a 12% to 19% of body fat. Females 50+ should have a 16% to 25% of body fat. In general individuals who participate in activities such as sports, tend to have percentages lower than average.

Get on track to improving your overall fitness by designing your activities around the 5 components of physical fitness.

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