Dr. Jason Menoutis
Physical Education

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Physical Fitness

Physical Fitness

What does it mean to be physically "fit?"

Physical fitness is defined as "a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical

In other words, it is more than being able to run a long distance or lift a lot of weight at the gym.

Being fit is not defined only by what kind of activity you do, how long you do it, or at what level of intensity.

While these are important measures of fitness, they only address single areas.

Overall fitness is made up of five main components: 

Cardiorespiratory endurance
Muscular strength
Muscular endurance
Body composition

What is cardiorespiratory endurance (cardiorespiratory fitness)?

Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability of the body's circulatory and respiratory systems to supply fuel during sustained physical activity.

To improve your cardiorespiratory endurance, try activities that keep your heart rate elevated at a safe level for a sustained length of time such as walking,
swimming, or bicycling.

The activity you choose does not have to be strenuous to improve your cardiorespiratory endurance.

Start slowly with an activity you enjoy, and gradually work up to a more intense pace.

What is muscular strength?

Muscular strength is the ability of the muscle to exert force during an activity.

The key to making your muscles stronger is working them against resistance, whether that be from weights or gravity.

If you want to gain muscle strength, try exercises such as lifting weights.

What is muscular endurance?

Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscle to continue to perform without fatigue.

To improve your muscle endurance, try cardiorespiratory activities such as walking, jogging, bicycling, or dancing.

What is body composition?

Body composition refers to the relative amount of muscle, fat, bone, and other vital parts of the body.

A person's total body weight (what you see on the bathroom scale) may not change over time. But the bathroom scale does not assess how much of that body weight is fat and
how much is lean mass (muscle, bone, tendons, and ligaments).

Body composition is important to consider for health and managing your weight!

What is flexibility?

Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint.

Good flexibility in the joints can help prevent injuries through all stages of life.

If you want to improve your flexibility, try activities that lengthen the muscles such as a basic stretching program.

Training for Fitness

Principles of Training:

• Principle of Overload – increased demands are made upon the body by modifying the: Frequency Intensity Time Type
• Principle of Progression – gradual increase in exercise or activity over a period of time
• Principle of Specificity – improvements in various fitness areas require specific kinds of activity
• Principle of Regularity – perform exercise on a regular basis
• Principle of Individuality – your exercise program must be based on your individual goals and objectives 

Other Training Factors: 

• Plateau – performance shows no improvement for a period of time
• Rates of Response – each person has a different rate of response to his or her particular training program
• Overtraining – participating in physical activity at very high intensity levels or for unusually long periods of time
• Cross Training – combining two or more types of exercise in one workout or using different exercises alternately in successive

By following the basic principles of training you can develop a program that will lead to improved health and fitness. These principles are overload, progression and specificity. It is important to understand these principles as you develop your exercise program. You can vary the overload placed on the body during exercise by changing the frequency, intensity, time, and/or type of the workout based on the fitness component you are working to improve. Once the body adjusts or adapts to this increased overload, it becomes necessary to increase the workload again. This is the principle of progression. Improvements that occur as a result of your training should also follow the principle of specificity – they will be based on the particular fitness area that you train. The type of exercises selected also affects the results you achieve. To avoid injuries and make certain your workouts will have the benefits you are seeking, following the principles of training, warm-up before exercise, cool down after exercise, avoid overtraining and consider a cross-training program.

Two Types of Personal Fitness:

Health Related Fitness                                                     
Cardiorespiratory Fitness                                                 
Muscular Strength                                                          
Muscular Endurance                                                        
Body Composition                                                           

Skill Related Fitness
Reaction Time

Factors Determining Your Level of Fitness 
Behavior or Lifestyle 

Looking at health risks associated with a lack of physical activity, it is clear that Americans who are not yet regularly physically active should become active. Everyone can benefit from physical activity. The activity need not be strenuous to be beneficial – moderate activity can provide great health benefits. Maintaining personal health and fitness is a matter of individual choice. Many of the health problems we develop result from things which are under our control – things we can do something about. How we live determines to a great extent how long and how well we live. The decision to be healthy and fit is within your reach. You can establish a lifestyle which enables you to achieve your optimal fitness level.

Evaluating Your Health Related Fitness:

Health Related Fitness:

Cardiorespiratory Fitness – ability to do vigorous, large muscle exercise over a long period of time. Tests to measure: distance runs, one mile walk, Pacer test.

Muscular Strength – amount of force that can be exerted by a single contraction of the muscle.

Muscular Endurance – ability to continue using certain muscles for a period of time. Tests to measure muscular fitness: curl ups, pull ups, flexed arm hang, push ups, trunk lift.

Flexibility – ability of a join and a muscle group to move through a range of motion. Tests to measure: back saver sit and reach and shoulder stretch.

Body Composition – percent of body weight composed of fat compared to the percent that is composed of tissue, bone and muscle. Tests to measure: body fat skinfold measurement and BMI. 

A number of tests are available to help you measure your level of fitness. A set of criterion-referenced health standards can be used to evaluate your test results. Reaching these standards is important, since they represent a minimum level necessary to prevent health problems in each fitness area. In establishing a plan for improvement, seek to reach the Healthy Fitness Zone in all areas rather than trying to compete with others. Strive to reach your optimal level of personal fitness. By understanding these tests and how to interpret the results, you can use them to retest yourself from time to time. Using these methods of evaluating your fitness, establish a goal of optimal personal fitness for you.

Evaluating Your Skill Related Fitness:

The Skill Related Components of Physical Fitness:

Agility – ability to start, stop and move the body quickly and in different directions. 
Balance – a kind of coordination which allows you to maintain control of your body while stationary or moving. 
Coordination – ability to do a task integrating movements of the body and different parts of the body. 
Power – ability to combine strength and speed in a movement. 
Reaction Time – time required to start a movement after being alerted to the need to move. 
Speed – ability to move your total body quickly from one point to another.

Factors Determining Your Skill Related Fitness:

Specific Training

In order to successfully participate in sports, recreational activities and everyday activities, it is important to achieve an acceptable level of skill-related fitness.
Identifying your areas of strength and weakness will enable you to establish a plan for improvement, and you will have more success and enjoyment in your sports activities. In addition, these skills will help you enjoy being active and reaching the goal of 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to intense activity on a daily basis.

Becoming a Wise Consumer 

Checklist for a Wise Consumer 

Before making a purchase, a wise consumer should answer these questions: 

• Do I need this product or service? Or is it the advertisement which makes me
think I do?
• Will it do what I expect? How do I know that for a fact?
• Is the price reasonable? Have I at least compared the cost at one other store?
• Have I thought about this purchase? Or am I buying this on impulse?
• Is the store or company reputable?

As a consumer, it is important to your health and for your budget to make wise decisions. Although this is not always an easy responsibility, use the guidelines for avoiding rip-offs and understanding advertising claims presented in this chapter to assist you. Make certain you know the difference between facts, fads, quackery and fallacies – especially related to health and fitness. Before you invest in a product or service, review the wise consumer’s checklist. 

Because of increased awareness and concern about health and fitness, there are numerous exercise and health products on the market. As a wise consumer, select only those that can truly assist in obtaining optimal fitness. 

Lifetime Personal Fitness 

Specific Health Problems 

Know how to avoid the health problems caused by the following: 

• alcohol
• tobacco use
• anabolic steroids
• stimulants and supplements
• asthma
• osteoporosis

Wellness and Fitness Forever 

Getting fit and staying fit depends on: 

• self motivation
• time management
• commitment
• enjoyment

Use what you have learned in this course to help you achieve your optimal health. What is important is the quality of each day of your life. The goal is to feel the best you have ever felt in your life now, not just the distant future. It will take action and sacrifice on your part to improve your lifestyle. We can’t guarantee you will live one day longer, but we can guarantee you a healthier, happier, and more productive life. How important is health to you? Is your lifestyle worth dying for? The choice is yours!