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Defining Physical Fitness

Published: April 10, 2020

What does physical fitness mean to you? Do you consider physical fitness only applies to elite athletes and sports enthusiasts?

Do you have to train as hard as elite athletes to gain physical fitness attributes and benefits? Do you consider yourself to be physically fit?
Walking gives you fresh air and exercise
Walking gives you fresh air and exercise
A health rewarding level of physical fitness can be attained by most people who regularly engage in physical activity,
If you are not sure what physical fitness refers to and /or the health benefits you can attain by being physically fit take a few minutes to read this article.
Follow the links to learn more about physical activity and how you can fit physical activity into your life and get physically fit for life.
What is physical fitness?
Physical fitness refers to a set of attributes which enable an individual to be physically active. 
Being physically fit enables you to more easily, meet the physical demands of everyday living and respond positively to increased physical demands under stressful conditions.
The term is often associated with health and well-being, since being physically fit is usually associated with improved health such as heart and lung function (cardiovascular fitness).
Another attribute of physical fitness, muscular fitness (muscle strength, endurance and flexibility) contributes to ease of movement when completing everyday tasks, and also protects your body from injury when performing daily activities. 
Your physical build (body weight, body mass index, body composition, and waist circumference) is also considered an attribute of physical fitness as the components of your physical build can positively or negatively affect your physical fitness and health.
This definition of physical fitness is often referred to as "health-related" physical fitness: physical fitness that most people can attain and maintain throughout life by being physically active.
You can cycle for health and performance
You can cycle for health and performance
The physical fitness you may associate with athletes and sports enthusiasts is referred to as "performance" related fitness.
This form of physical fitness may also be applied to training for jobs that require specific physical attributes and requires a different form of training to health-related physical fitness.
More attention may be given to improving motor skills, agility, power and speed, which may not be necessary in training for health-related physical fitness. 
The benefits of being physically fit
Being sedentary or physically inactive, together with poor nutrition, excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use, is a risk factor for non-communicable diseases which are recognised globally as...link to the full article to learn more.


CSEP (2013).Physical Activity Training for Health
Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
Gropper, S.S., Smith, J.L. & Groff, J.L. (2005). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (4thEd.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.