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Comprehensive Physical Fitness

WHOLE LIVING Series Part 1

Whole Living Series: Comprehensive Physical Fitness jillconyers.com #fitness #fitnesshealthhappiness #bestlife #fitnessfriday

Physical fitness play an important role in daily activities. Improving all areas of physical fitness will help improve your ability to perform daily activities and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If you ask 10 people what does physical fitness mean you’ll get a variety of answers. Physical fitness can be defined as being able to accomplish specific physical tasks like lift a certain amount of weight or run a particular distance in a certain time. That is true, but a comprehensive fitness program includes and goes beyond accomplishing specific goals and activities.

5 Primary Components of Physical Fitness

Cardiorespiratory fitness – the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen rich blood to muscles during sustained physical activity. Basically, cardiorespiratory fitness is the ability of your heart and lungs to work together to provide the necessary oxygen and fuel to your body without quickly reaching a high level of fatigue and tiredness.

Muscular strength – the greatest amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert to overcome resistance.

Muscular endurance – the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert force for extended periods of times. Or, how long your muscles can do something before becoming too exhausted to finish.

Flexibility – the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion without hindrance, discomfort or pain.

Body composition – the percentage of body weight that is fat versus fat-free tissue (muscles, bones, water, etc.).

A well rounded fitness program is important for quality of life and overall health. By incorporating these five components into a workouts you can enhance your performance and function, manage your weight, and look and feel your best.

Watch for upcoming articles in a WHOLE LIVING series that will include topics such as secondary components of a comprehensive fitness program, components of health and wellness, nutrition and creating a whole living plan to live your best life.

Do you incorporate all 5 components of physical fitness into your workouts? What component do you include most often? What component do you need to include more often?

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66 Comments

  1. I seriously love reading these types of posts on your blog Jill, because you share so much useful info, in a way that isn’t completely over my head. Thanks for sharing 😀

  2. Not sure how I’m doing on Cardiorespiratory with my blood pressure dropping during workouts making me lightheaded. The doctor just says to drink salt water or something like Gatorade. :/ I’m working on muscular strength and endurance since hitting my goal weight. Flexibility is taken care of with yoga. Body comp I’m not sure of since I don’t go to a gym to have myself measured. I haven’t figured out how to really use my calipers.

    1. Wow, you’ve got a lot going on Cassi! Make sure you’re taking care of yourself on top of your making awesome progress with your goals.

  3. Great informational read! I struggle with fitting in strength and flexibility/mobility with my running… and am noticing it effect my performance. Time to work on fitting it all in. 🙂

    1. Fitting it all in is tough but finding a way is so worth it. Part of the struggle was realizing I had to run less. You’ll figure out a way!

  4. I really try, but time sometimes gets away from me!

    1. I know what you mean Toni! Now that I look at the warm up as part of the workout instead of all together separate I’m more consistent and I’ve noticed how much more I’m getting out of the workout. Have an awesome Wednesday!

  5. Love this clear explanation, Jill! It’s a good reminder that you shouldn’t concentrate on just one of these components; you should make sure you’re well-rounded. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! 🙂

    1. Happy to share my passion Beth! Your support and kind words are sincerely appreciated 🙂

    1. Hi Nicole, flexibility seems to be the biggest area of need to do more of. Your support is sincerely appreciated 🙂

  6. So much yes! I remember my CrossFit days when we worked on the 10 attributes: agility, accuracy, balance, coordination, endurance, flexibility, power, stamina, strength, speed. That mindset helped me think a LOT about the different “essences”, if you will, of fitness, and see how they play together. I think we all have areas that come easier to us, like our more natural abilities in fitness, and we all have areas we will never be pro at, but still need to incorporate if we want to reach our fitness potential.

    1. It’s pretty cool to realize how all the components work together and how to focus on our individual weakest link. Thanks Tiffany!

  7. i love that your described both muscle endurance and strength! I feel a lot of people get lost on that topic, yet we need both! so true

  8. I am terrible at adding flexibility into my workouts. I always refer to myself as “less bendy”. It makes yoga so challenging, but continually reminds me why I need yoga so badly 🙂 Thanks for the reminder to make sure all 5 parts are included!

    1. You’re very welcome Amanda! Flexibility is the most often missing piece for many. Now, go do yoga 🙂

  9. Right now I am doing a lot of cardio, but I ended up doing a lot of strength training this week and my body is feeling it…In a good way! Have a beautiful weekend! XOXO

    1. Love that you-know-you’re-strength-training feeling! A beautiful weekend to you too. xoxo

  10. I can say except for that whole fat to muscle composition (which I’m working on go away adipose tissue!!) I am pretty balanced in my fitness. I kill myself with quick HIIT workouts for running, lift heavy stuff, practice one day o week of lifting lighter stuff a BIZZION times and I practice yoga and stretch. YAY for me! Now if only I could find more time for the yoga and less time sitting on my butt at work! Can’t wait to see how this series goes!

    1. Yay for you is right! Finding that fitness balance feels great!

      I haven’t been to yoga as often as I would like this summer [thanks to studying]. HIIT workouts have changed my approach to balanced fitness. Love it!

  11. I do actually. I used to ignore the flexibility component but since I started getting older I realized how important it is and I stretch and do yoga a lot now. Good post!

    1. Way to go finding that fitness balance Elle! Feels great doesn’t it. Thanks so much!

  12. Great post! I try to focus on all of these, but many of my strength training workouts focus more on muscular endurance (lots of reps) vs muscular strength (I don’t life much above 20 lb). Definitely a good reminder here!

    1. Sounds like you’ve found a great fitness balance Laura! Feels wonderful doesn’t it.

    1. Hi Jess. Flexibility is an area a lot of people want/need to improve. I thought it would be strength.

    1. Thanks Kate. Flexibility seems to be the biggest component missed. I thought it would be strength training.

  13. I guess I do. Aerobic fitness has been the foundation of my activity for a long time, but with strength training, both weights and body-weight, sports, and the martial arts (stretching, ugh) I think I have it all covered. Plus I am very careful about my mostly vegan diet.

  14. Cardio is definitely my thing but through yoga flexibility has really increased, as well as strength to some degree. Strength and muscular endurance are my needs improvement areas!

    1. I’ve noticed a lot of improvement in strength with doing yoga regularly. Cardio seems to be the most focused on component.

  15. I definitely need to work on the flexibility but I am sure I could improve in all of these areas. My workouts have been sporadic so thanks for this reminder. Have a great weekend!

    1. I think we all do to some extent. But, when you find that fitness balance it’s so sweet! It’s made me wonder why haven’t approached fitness this way all along. Thanks Kathryn!

    1. I think we all do to some extent. But, when you find that fitness balance it’s so sweet! It’s made me wonder why haven’t approached fitness this way all along. Thanks Lauren!

  16. I incorporate most of it, but body fat? Last time I had it checked I fall within a normal range . . . just. I know I could stand to get leaner. The problem is how to do it!

    1. Hi Judy. Way to go finding such a great balance with almost all of the 5 components of fitness. I bet you do more for body composition than you realize.

    1. Hi Deborah. It’s a good thing I love to strength train! That hasn’t always been the case.

  17. Great post. I don’t think about it too much, but my training plan generally incorporates all aspects of fitness. Ironically, since I’m a trainer, the one place I tend to fall short is strength building.

    1. I didn’t think much about it either until I started studying for the PT exam.

  18. I can’t wait to read more of this series, Jill! Flexibility is an area I need to spend more time on personally. Have a wonderful 4th of July!

    1. Many have said the same thing about flexibility. At least you’re in good company!

  19. I’m good with all expect flexibility… that’s one area I need to focus on more!

  20. I was just thinking about this yesterday! My motto is runners can’t live on miles alone, and I feel like I do a pretty good job of incorporating all the elements of fitness into my routine. If I’m lacking anywhere, it’s in the flexibility department. I need to do more stretching!

    1. Wendy I assumed you probably have a great balance of fitness. Love the motto! Miles alone is what runners love.

  21. I definitely lack the flexibility one. I need to add yoga in. I’ve been saying that since I studied for my test and I still don’t, ha. I do pretty good with the other 4, though!

    1. I haven’t been to yoga as often as I like this summer. Studying has literally taken over my life!

  22. I need to get better about adhering to certain toning things just after my cardio–I’ve gotten a little lazy about it. I finally got back to my yoga yesterday (physical therapy has been taking its place of late). But generally, I’m pretty good about being comprehensive!

  23. I need to start working on things like pull ups and push ups. I lift weights all the time and my cardiovascular endurance is really good. I’m actually surprised I’ve been able to maintain it being injured so much.

    1. The few times I’ve been injured the loss of cardiovascular fitness is the first thing I notice.

      Thanks Megan!

  24. I definitely focus on Cardiorespiratory Fitness by running and I end up with not much time for the other components! I try to incorporate the other components into my lifestyle. Great informative post Jill…have a great weekend!

  25. I am a slacker when it comes to weight training 🙁 I am hoping when the OTF opens it will be the ticket for me! I am enjoying the Fit Camp that they are having so I am slowly working into it! 🙂 I look forward to your series! Happy Friday!

    1. Thank you Mary Beth. The Fit Camp sounds awesome and the baby steps will get you where you want to be and when you do finding that fitness balance is sweet.

      Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

    1. Thank you Julie. I know many that prefer running but finding that balance is sweet.

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