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Physical Fitness Definition:

It means the capability of a body to work properly. On the other hand, physical activity increases energy expenditure, i.e. the number of calories used per unit of time.

Physical Activity Definition: 

Physical activity is a behavior characterized by a certain number of measurable parameters (frequency, duration, intensity, and also type of practice), the combination of which allows us to know the level of physical activity of a given population. On the other hand, physical fitness indicates the capability of your body systems to work together efficiently to enable you to be healthy and perform activities of daily living. Being efficient means to perform daily activities with less effort.

Moreover, physical activity is an action that is accomplished by the skeletal muscles that need energy. In other words, any action the person does is actually physical activity. Exercise, however, is decided, organized, cyclical and intentional movement planned to enhanced or maintain physical fitness.

Having a physical activity does not need doing a sporting feat: walking more than 30 minutes a day is considered to be a real physical activity that will have health advantages. It is simple and varies from that of sport: it is the realization of movements of the body and its members using the contraction of the muscles.

Components of Physical Activity

Physical Activity

Physical activity is a behavior that can be characterized by frequency, intensity, and duration it also a type of practice that makes it possible to define the quantity of physical activity in a space-time (day, week, etc.).


The MET: The intensity of physical activity is most usually expressed in MET (metabolic equivalent; metabolic equality of task), defined as the ratio of energy spend linked to physical activity on basic metabolism. 1 MET corresponds to the level of energy spend at rest, seated on a chair (3.5ml02 / min/kg).

Physical activity should be severe enough to cause greater than normal weakness (overload) so to make a profit. The benefit sought determines the appropriate intensity. For example, the metabolic condition and the health benefits that attached to it require only intensity moderate. However, the cardiovascular condition for high performance requires activity vigorous enough to increase the frequency at a level significantly higher than the par.


 To be effective, physical activity must continue for a period of at least 15 minutes. While longer durations are recommended for benefits optimal. As the duration increases, exercise intensity may decrease.

Frequency (How Often)

You should practice physical activity regularly. The frequency term shows the number of days per week the person is engaged in physical activity. Most of the advantages sought to need a person to practice at least three times and up to six times a week, but the frequency ultimately depends on profit particular sought.

Physical Fitness Vs Physical Activity: Physical Fitness Components

To conclude overall fitness, there is an objective test. It is more general than just being able to throw a basketball in a basket or having chocolate bars on them.

While athletic ability or a lean physique can be outward signs of physical fitness, they are not sufficient to qualify a person as physically fit. To determine true physical condition, you need to assess that person (as well as yourself) against five recognized components of (good) physical condition.

There are 5 basic physical fitness components:

  • Cardiovascular endurance,
  • Muscular endurance,
  • Muscular force,
  • Flexibility,
  • Body composition.

These 5 fundamental physical fitness components should be at the center of any discussion around physical exercise, sports performance, general health, and also fitness. In order to be considered truly fit, you should be able to present certain characteristics in each of these 5 components.

Concretely, having a good understanding of these basic components of fitness can also help you ensure that your physical training routine (as well as your diet) supports better fitness levels.

1. Cardiovascular Endurance

Also known as cardio-respiratory endurance, cardiovascular endurance basically refers to the ability of the lungs to transfer oxygen to the blood, and also the ability of the heart to send this oxygen-rich blood to your muscles and body tissue. It is an important component of physical fitness since in the absence of this oxygen-rich blood, your body and muscles will not be able to efficiently perform their work.

But cardiovascular endurance is not just a matter of providing the oxygen you need to provide energy for your workouts or daily activities. It also has various health advantages. As your cardio-respiratory endurance improves, your resting heart rate decreases and puts less strain on the heart even when you do the light activity. This is one of the reasons why doctors always prescribe light cardiovascular exercise as a preventive treatment for heart disease or hypertension.

Even if your goal is to train to gain muscle (for example if you are a bodybuilder), improving your cardiovascular endurance can help increase your resistance during weight training, reduce exhaustion and also even allow you to lift more weight or do more repetitions.

2. Muscular Endurance

It is the ability to hold a particular position (muscle contraction) for an extended period of time or to repeat a movement several times without excessive fatigue. This could be the capacity required to hold a 1-kilogram dumbbell above your head for 5 minutes, or the effort required to lift this weight 20 times in a row. In both cases, muscular endurance includes prolonged contraction involving muscles against a weight less than the maximum.

Moreover, muscular endurance is important because it allows the muscle to work longer without fatigue, which is essential during sports, recreational or daily activities. Without muscle endurance, you would not able to run more than a few hundred meters, stand for long periods of time, or participate in sports that need long-term efforts (such as biking, swimming, or cross-country skiing) for example.

3. Muscle Strength

It is the ability to exert maximum force, such as raise the massive weight you can move, in one go. Muscle strength is usually expressed as a single maximum repetition (1-RM), that is, the amount of resistance you can move in a single repetition.

Certain muscle groups bounded the muscle strength. For example, you might have muscle strength in the legs, but not in your arms. Overall, you should strive for muscle strength spread across all muscle groups, especially your support muscles (core muscles which include the back muscles, abdominal and chest muscles). Since your core is heavily involved in the support and assistance of almost all movements and activities.

Muscle strength imbalances between opposing muscle groups (e.g. the lower back muscle group and the abdominal muscle group) can increase the risk of serious and chronic injury (including stretching, muscle tears and wrinkling of the muscles). The connective tissues constitute the majority of the mass of the body of animals (66% of the overall volume in humans).

Muscle strength is important because, without it, you would be unable to participate in recreational sports, support your own body weight, or even get up from a chair. Improving muscle strength also has greater health benefits, including:

  • Improved bone density,
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis,
  • Reduced risk of injury,
  • Improved insulin sensitivity, which can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

4. Flexibility

It is simply the ability to move a joint in its full range of movements. In other words, how flexible you are. A person’s level of flexibility is partly determined by the genetics and structure of their joints, but almost all people are able to improve flexibility through regular stretching (whether static or dynamic).

Flexibility is important because it allows you to perform certain daily activities such as stretching to reach a can on a high shelf or bending over to pick up something from the floor.

Having a high degree of flexibility reduces the risk of certain muscle injuries and muscle soreness. Because flexibility allows you to better use the proper form when performing activities such as lifting objects. For example, people who have firm and rigid hamstrings (muscles on the back of your legs) will often compensate for this lack of flexibility by lifting by the waist. Instead of doing it via the legs plus the waist. This puts them at greater risk of injury to the lower back.

In sports and recreational activities, increased flexibility can also improve athletic performance. It also allows you to use a fit and functioning muscle in its full range of movements (for example, during strength or resistance training). Almost all sports and activities can benefit from increased flexibility, but some (such as gymnastics) require a very high level of flexibility. In recreational sports such as softball, basketball or soccer, increased flexibility can also improve power, balance, and agility.

5. Body Composition

What your body is made of is simply a body consumption. In other words, the proportion of lean tissue like bones, muscles, connective tissue, internal organs and water on your body fat level.

Body composition is not based on your weight, waist-to-hip ratio, or a formula like Body Mass Index (BMI). Instead, the composition of the body takes into account your lean tissue-to-fat ratio. This is important because the bathroom scale is in itself a misrepresentation of a person’s true physical condition and body composition. Two people who are exactly the same height and weight can have very different body compositions, depending on their body fat or lean muscle mass.

For example, a gymnast of 1m60 and 48 kilos who have 13% body fat will be much leaner than a woman with 25% body fat who however has the same weight and the same height. Because muscles take up less space in the body than fat. A person who has more muscles and less body fat will always look leaner than someone of the same weight but with fewer muscles and more body fat.

Having a body composition that reflects a higher muscle-to-body fat ratio is important because body fat is involved in most activities. Body fat is metabolically inactive and provides no strength or endurance benefits. It is essentially an unnecessary weight. Excess body fat can hinder activity, lower physical or sports performance; increase your risk of developing heart disease, brain congestion, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Inexpensive pair of stirrups are used to estimate the body consumption. These calipers will give you an estimate (with a margin of error of about 4%, in both directions) of your body fat percentage. You can then use this percentage to estimate how much lean tissue you have in your body.

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