The Components of Physical Fitness

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The Components of Physical Fitness

When we talk about fitness, we are pertaining to the many dimensions of health. Understanding fitness means knowing all the details about their components to help keep you and your body in tune!

Quick Look: The Five Components of Physical Fitness

The different elements of physical fitness are often used in school systems, athletic organizations, fitness clubs, and other groups. These components help individuals assess and know how physically fit a person is

Here is a quick look at the components:

  • Aerobic Fitness or Cardiovascular Endurance

  • Flexibility

  • Muscular Endurance

  • Muscular Strength

  • Body Composition

Overall physical fitness can be gauged by how well our body performs in each one of these components. It is not enough to be fit in one area to be able to say you are physically fit as a whole.

What are the Five Components of Physical Fitness

In general, physical fitness has five different main components:

1. Aerobic Fitness

Aerobic fitness also called cardiovascular endurance, is the ability of your heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular) to pump and deliver oxygenated blood throughout the muscles. When we say oxygenated blood, it simply means that it has traveled through the heart after getting oxygen in the lungs. Oxygenated blood also carries all the nutrients that your body needs to be able to function properly and effectively. You can say that an individual has a high-level cardiovascular endurance if the heart can pump and deliver litters of oxygenated blood each beat.

Activities that help improve cardiovascular endurance are those that can cause an increase in the heart rate for a sustained period. These activities may include:

  • brisk walking

  • swimming

  • jogging

  • running

  • cycling

2. Flexibility


Flexibility is our body’s ability to bend, stretch, extend, and move without tearing a muscle or breaking bones. As we get older, muscle rigidity slowly sets in, which can affect our movement or lead to immobility. 

3. Muscular Endurance

components of physical fitness

Muscular endurance refers to your muscles ability to endure exerting force. It is the measure of how long and how many times you can use them. Muscle endurance enables you to run marathons, run long distances, and do workouts for hours at the gym.

4. Muscular Strength

We need muscles in our daily activities. When we walk, we use the leg muscles; when we carry lift, we use the arm muscles. To get through any bodily movement such as running, sitting, and general mobility, the muscle is responsible. Not only that! When we smile, frown, kiss, and talk, we are using different muscles in the face.

physical fitness

So, what is muscular strength? By definition, it is the amount of force that your muscle can produce in a single maximal effort.

To increase muscle strength you should:

  • Exercise your muscles regularly 

  • Have adequate protein intake

But in general, if you workout certain muscle groups consistently and regularly, they will increase in strength.

5. Body Composition

Your body composition is what your body is made up of. Yes, we know that we have bones, muscles, and all various tissues but there is so much more to our bodies. We also have proteins, fats, body water, and so much more.

Professionally speaking, body composition is the measurement of the body fat in contrast to the lean tissues (muscles) that a person has. If you have higher levels of bad cholesterol or fat, then you can say you are less fit. 

Measure your Physical Fitness Level

Working to optimize each of these five elements of fitness is vital to enhancing your general health and overall fitness. If you do not know how physically fit you are, you can measure your physical fitness level. It will help you keep track of your overall health and set fitness goals.

Keeping a good level of physical fitness is a lifetime goal that we should all try to achieve. Being physically fit means being able to do daily activities without difficulty, and reduced risk of getting sick or having diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory, or muscular diseases.

About the Author:

Mike Zhang is the founder of the MZF Group. He graduated from the University of Toronto on the dean's list with a Masters Degree in science.  Mike was a two time National Muay Thai Champion, and a strength and conditioning coach to several learned athletes. He has over 14 years of experience as a Muay Thai Coach.