Health related fitness is quite a complex area and can have totally different meanings to different groups of people. However, if one divides it into broad components one particular area may be more important to one particular group of people than another. The main components of health related fitness are stamina, strength, flexibility, muscular endurance and body composition. For the general population stamina, or cardiovascular fitness is really important for everybody’s wellbeing. The working together of the circulatory and respiratory systems is essential for people getting through their daily lives. Simple tasks, such as climbing the stairs or walking to the shops, can be life threatening situations for those people who are not fit enough to do them. For large groups of people the end of PE lessons on leaving school, is the last physical exercise they will ever undertake. The problem is accentuated by the fact that the modern day society has seen a decline in manual labor.
People now undertake work in sedentary situations spending hours of the day sitting at a desk. Previously active jobs such as working on a farm, or down a pit or even running around a workshop, would have been of benefit to the employee. With heart rates rising for long periods of the day the stamina was being produced by the workers every day’s activities There has been much research that links inactivity to heart disease and other associated illnesses. The general public is made aware of these issues and people are encouraged to take part in some form of exercise that will benefits each individual’s stamina.
The activity that for years was the most popular was long distance running. This is still a good activity but for the really unfit injuries are easy to collect as this is an impact activity. For bodies not used to running the impact with the road can often result in problems. Non-impact activities are nowadays proving popular with swimming, cycling, aerobics and spinning leading the way as people try to avoid the problems that are caused by inactivity. Body composition is a component of health related fitness that is most visually obvious. It is easy to look at a person’s body shape and make a judgment about their general fitness. The body composition also takes into consideration a person’s fat percentage. This will vary with an individual’s sex and age.
Many of the health problems of being overweight are the same as being inactive. However, an added complication is that the high fat contents of certain diets can lead to a clogging of people’s arteries, making them more susceptible to heart attacks. Changing body composition can be achieved by a change of diet and regular exercise. Once again modern day society has made the problems worse as greater affluence in general has made more foods available to the public.
Some of these foods especially those from the fast food outlets, have high fat contents and have made the diets of many people suffer. Despite massive research over the last 50 years the conclusion is still the same. Eating more vegetables and salads, plus eat less amounts, will lead to weight loss. For the old the flexibility component is an importing factor of health related fitness. As a person matures a lack of flexibility can lead to other area of the body. A good example is the gluteus maximus and when tightness occurs here this can often leads to hamstring, Achilles and even knee problems.
The recent popularity in Yoga has seen many people benefit from being regularly stretched. All top class sportsman understand the importance of flexibility, and incorporate stretching programs into their fitness regimes. Strength and muscular endurance are components that need to be consistently trained or their levels will diminish. If muscles are not exercised regularly they will either waste away or be replaced by fat. These two areas are particularly important to sportsman who are constantly striving to find the balance between getting stronger and maintaining that performance for longer periods of time. Health related fitness is important to the whole community. However certain components are more important to some groups of people than to others.