In order to carry out daily activities without being physically overwhelmed, a minimal level of fitness is required. To perform daily activities without fatigue, it is necessary to maintain health in five areas: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition. These five areas are called the health-related components of fitness. Development of these areas will improve your quality of life, reduce your risk of chronic disease, and optimize your health and well-being. Each of these 5 areas will be explored in depth at a later time. Below is a brief description of each.
1. Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability to carry out prolonged, large muscle, dynamic movements at a moderate to high level of intensity. This relates to your heart’s ability to pump blood and your lungs’ ability to take in oxygen.
2. Muscular strength is the ability of the muscles to exert force over a single or maximal effort.
3. Muscular endurance is the ability to exert a force over a period of time or repetitions.
4. Flexibility is the ability to move your joints through a full range of motion.
5. Body Composition is the relative amount of fat mass to fat-free mass.
As previously stated, these areas are significant in that they influence your quality of life and overall health and wellness.
Skill-Related Components of Fitness
In addition to the 5 health-related components, there are 6 skill-related components that assist in developing optimal fitness: speed, agility, coordination, balance, power, and reaction time. Although important, these areas do not directly affect a person’s health. A person’s ability to perform ladder drills (also known as agility drills) is not related to his/her long term heart health. However, coordination of muscle movements may be helpful in developing muscular strength through resistance training. As such, they may indirectly affect the 5 areas associated with health-related fitness. Skill-related components are more often associated with sports performance and skill development.
- Speed is the relationship between time and distance or the rate at which someone can travel over a given distance.
- Agility relates to speed but in more-so to change of direction and position of the body while maintaining control throughout the movement.
- Coordination involves the efficiency of movements in relation to various aspects of the body working together to create smooth and efficient movement.
- Balance is the ability to maintain your body’s position which may occur at rest or in motion.
- Power is a type of fitness that connects muscular strength or muscular endurance, two of our health-related components, to speed, one of our other skill-related components by seeing how fast you can exert force over a single or maximal effort or repeatedly over time or repetitions.
- Reaction Time refers the ability for someone to act quickly in response to some type of stimuli (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, etc.).
As we look at how we want to develop and facilitate a well-rounded fitness program we will look at how these skill-related components of fitness can be coordinated specifically to different types of training. Often times when developing a training program we will combine various health-related and skill-related components of fitness into a single activity, drill, or programming.
Dawn Markell & Diane Peterson, Health and Fitness for Life. MHCC Library Press. Sept 4, 2019. https://mhcc.pressbooks.pub/hpe295