physical fitness

physical fitness

physical fitness, combined good health and physical development. The object of any program of physical fitness is to maximize an individual's health, strength, endurance, and skill relative to age, sex, body build, and physiology. These ends can only be realized through conscientious regulation of exercise, rest, diet, and periodic medical and dental examinations. Exercise should be regular and vigorous, but begun slowly and only gradually increased in strenuousness. Popular exercise methods include jogging, cycling, and the use of body-building machines. It is more important that periods of sleep be regular and restful than that they extend any fixed number of hours. A properly balanced diet in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals is essential. Conscientious dental hygiene and periodic checkups are also strongly advised. Complete and regular physical examinations should be the basis of any program of physical development. Tobacco smoking, as well as alcohol and drug consumption, are counterproductive to any physical fitness program. Although sports are related to physical fitness, care must be taken that injuries do not occur, and that the skin is adequately protected against the cancerous effects of solar radiation.

See historical study by J. Whorton (1982).

Physical fitness is used in two close meanings: general fitness (a state of health and well-being) and specific fitness (a task-oriented definition based on the ability to perform specific aspects of sports or occupations).

Physical fitness is the functioning of the heart, blood vessels, lungs, and muscles to function at optimum efficiency. In previous years, fitness was defined as the capacity to carry out the day’s activities without undue fatigue. Automation increased leisure time, and changes in lifestyles following the industrial revolution meant this criterion was no longer sufficient. Optimum efficiency is the key. Physical fitness is now defined as the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist hypokinetic diseases, and to meet emergency situations. Fitness can also be divided into five categories: aerobic fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

General fitness

Many sources also cite mental and emotional health as an important part of overall fitness. This is often presented in textbooks as a triangle made up of three sub-sections, which represent physical, emotional, and mental fitness. Hence, one may be physically fit but may still suffer from a mental illness or have emotional problems. The "ideal triangle" is balanced in all areas. Physical fitness can also prevent or treat many chronic health conditions brought on by unhealthy lifestyle or aging, among other implications. Working out can also help to sleep better. To stay healthy it's important to participate in physical activity.

Specific fitness

Specific or task-oriented fitness is a person's ability to perform in a specific activity with a reasonable efficiency, for example, sports or military service. Specific training prepares athletes to perform well in their sports.

Examples are:

  • 400m sprint - in a sprint the athlete must be trained to work anaerobically throughout the race.
  • Marathon - in this case the athlete must be trained to work aerobically and their endurance must be built-up to a maximum.

Fire fighters and police officers must undergo regular Fitness testing to determine if they are capable of the physically demanding tasks required for the job before they are employed.

See also

External links

Search another word or see physical fitnesson Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature