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The Components of Fitness

By Sara Butler

Physical fitness plays an important role in your overall health. It’s so important that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked consistent exercise to a lower risk of certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and improved quality of life as you get older -- and those aren’t all of the tremendous benefits! These are a few of the fitness components that will help you reap all the benefits to help you know if you’re on the right track to good health. Here’s what you need to know!

Cardiovascular Endurance

This is your body’s ability to effectively and efficiently take in oxygen and transport it to different parts of your body. You gain it by participating in a regular exercise that tests your lungs and heart, which in turn helps to improve the delivery of oxygen to your whole body.

An exercise program that includes cardiovascular endurance is one step in the direction of overall health since it can help to reduce your chances of heart disease. Add running, cycling, walking, dancing, boxing, circuit training, or swimming to your workouts to improve this aspect of your fitness.

Muscular Endurance

This is how well a muscle group can contract against continuous resistance -- think long-distance runners or cyclists. Their legs must develop a resistance to fatigue in order to keep going, therefore the muscles have high muscular endurance levels.

Remember that this component is specific to different muscle groups, so it’s important to train all muscle groups to do well under stress. In everyday life, you should be able to lift and transport groceries from the car to your kitchen or climb up stairs without the muscles getting fatigued.

Any training regimen that incorporates repetitive strength training will help you build this skill!

Muscular Strength

Muscular strength is how much force a muscle can produce. It’s group specific and should be a component of well-proportioned strength training programs. How much strength training you do depends on your fitness and health goals, so decide how strong you want to be and work to get yourself there. In general, it’s recommended that adults strength train two to three times a week.

Flexibility

This is the range of motion you have around a joint and is, just as muscle endurance and strength, joint-specific. You can, for example, have tight hamstrings but very loose shoulders! Your aim should be to make your body flexible from head to toe, which will help reduce your risk of injury and reduce wear and tear on your joints.

Your physical fitness is important, so make sure you have all the components you need to be well-rounded!  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sterling, Va.

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