Login

What is Fitness? - Definition, Components, Types & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What Is Hypertrophy? - Definition, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Definition of Fitness
  • 0:40 Components of Fitness
  • 2:48 Common Fitness Measurements
  • 4:38 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John Koshuta
Fitness is far more than simply exercising on a consistent basis. Fitness has a variety of components and there are many ways it can be measured. With a solid understanding of this topic, individuals can address those aspects of their life that directly impact fitness.

Definition of Fitness

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physical fitness is defined as 'the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and respond to emergencies.' Based on this definition, fitness involves everything from getting out of bed to hiking to performing CPR.

In order to complete all of these tasks, one must consistently address their fitness levels. This requires proper conditioning through both structured exercise and leisurely activities.

Components of Fitness

Depending on the source, the components of fitness vary considerably. Below are common components:

  • Cardiorespiratory endurance - typically measured by how long or fast a person can perform an activity and how this impacts measurements such as heart rate and oxygen consumption.
  • Muscular endurance - typically measured by how many repetitions of an exercise a person can perform. Common tests involve push-ups and sit ups.
  • Muscular strength - typically measured by how much weight can be moved in relation to repetitions. Exercises involving multiple joints and muscle groups such as squats or bench press are often used.
  • Muscular power - typically measured by how much force can be generated during a given activity. Advanced equipment used by biomechanists are often needed to measure muscular power.
  • Flexibility - typically measured by how far a muscle group can be stretched or joint can be moved. The most common tests involve the hamstrings and shoulders.
  • Balance - typically measured by how long a particular position can be held with or without some type of activity being performed. Simple tests such as standing on one leg can be used to assess balance. More advanced tests may involve standing on an unsteady object while trying to catch a ball.
  • Speed - typically measured by how quickly an individual can move from one point to another. The 40-yard dash is often used to assess speed.
  • Body composition - this is the amount of fat on the body versus other tissues such as muscle, bones and skin. Measured using a variety of tests and devices. Simple tests using mathematical equations or calipers are common and inexpensive. More advanced tests such as underwater weighing are far less common and much more expensive.

In many cases, endurance and strength are the components used to assess fitness. But utilizing the other components offer a more complete picture of overall fitness, along with health and athleticism.

Common Fitness Measurements

Fitness can be measured in a variety of ways. Below are common tests used in both clinical and athletic settings:

  • Cooper Run - This test measures cardiorespiratory endurance. In 12 minutes, run as far as possible. For most adults, running 2000 meters or more in this time is considered a 'good' to 'very good' level of fitness.
  • Push Up Test - This test measures muscular endurance. Men should perform this test using 'military style' (knees straight) while women should use the 'bent knee' position. Participants should perform as many pushups as possible while keeping proper form until exhaustion. An adult male performing 25-30 repetitions and an adult female performing 20-25 repetitions are considered 'above average.'
  • Sit & Reach Test - This test measures flexibility. Place a ruler on a step and sit with heels together and flat against the bottom step. Reach forward and measure the distance in front of or past the heels. Men reaching 2.5-6 inches past the heels or women reaching 4.5-7.5 inches past the heels are considered to have 'good' flexibility.
  • Bioelectrical Impedance - This test measures body composition. Using either a hand-held or at-home scale, a slight electrical signal is sent through either the hands or feet. Body fat percentage is estimated based on the speed in which the signal passes through body tissues. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) men with a body fat percentage of 14-17% and women with a body fat percentage of 21-24% are considered to be in the 'fitness' category.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support