LEARN It! Challenge 2, Topic 3
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The 5 Components of Health-related Fitness

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All 5 components of health-related fitness play a role in your body’s ability to complete daily activities. Explore the 5 components below. 

1. Body Composition

Definition: Body composition is the proportion of fat in your body compared to lean mass such as bone, muscle, connective, tissue, and fluids.

Body fat is essential for insulation and energy, but too much fat can cause serious health problems.

  • Body composition does NOT refer to your body weight.
  • Body composition does NOT refer to your shape or figure.

BMI (Body Mass Index) is an indirect way to measure your body composition.

  • Assess an adult’s body weight relative to their height.
  • BMI for children and teens can be plotted on the CDC’s BMI-for-age growth chart to receive a percentile ranking.
  • The percentile ranking indicates the relative position of the child’s BMI number among children of the same sex and age.
  • Click on this link to get to the NHLBI website calculator and trusted, validated resources to help you. I will open in another window. When you are done, come back to this page and finish this short lesson.

2. Cardiovascular Fitness

  • Increases how well your body uses oxygen.
  • Benefits the heart, lungs, and muscles.
  • Any activity that raises your heart rate.
  • Examples: walking or running
  • Benefits:
    1. Improves heart health and decreases risk of cardiovascular disease.
    2. Improves lung health and decreases shortness of breath.
    3. Improves muscle endurance.
    4. Improves mood and energy levels and decreases depression and fatigue in some people.
    5. Decreases blood pressure.
    6. Decreases cholesterol levels.
    7. Reduces blood sugar levels and diabetes risks.

3. Flexibility

  • The ability to move your joints and muscles through their full range of motion.
  • Improves balance, coordination, and posture while keeping joints in good shape.
  • Example: stretching
    • Stretch all major muscle groups (arms, back, hips, and legs) for about 10-12 minutes per day.

4. Muscular Endurance

  • The length of time a muscle or muscle group can exert force before tiring.
  • Ability to hold a position for a sustained period.
  • Ability to repeat a movement many times.

5. Muscular Strength

  • The maximum amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert.
    • Ability to lift the heaviest weight you can budge, one time.
  • Stronger muscles protect joints, increases bone density, and burns calories.
  • Muscles become stronger by repeating the process of use, rest, and repeated use.
    • When you rest, the muscle has time to rebuild and prepare for the next use which is how the muscle becomes gradually stronger.
  • It is possible to have muscular strength in one muscle group while lacking strength in another area.