Being physically fit is a somewhat vague term, as there are different types of fitness. Someone who is an avid weightlifter may have muscular strength, but lack the aerobic capacity of an endurance athlete and vice versa.
To help you learn more about the different types of fitness, we have defined them below. That way, you can determine what type of fitness may fit your health and fitness goals.
1. Cardiovascular/Aerobic Fitness
Cardiovascular, or aerobic fitness, is defined by how our bodies provide us with energy to fuel activities including long distance running, cycling, and swimming. Some of the definable metrics are:
- Able to sustain elevated heart rate for longer periods.
- Engage in aerobic exercise more comfortably.
- Oxygen is better utilized, making breathing easier during aerobic workouts.
As people consistently work on their cardiovascular fitness, they may find previously taxing activities easier. To build and maintain cardiovascular fitness, you may consider making aerobic exercise a part of your daily routine.
2. Anaerobic Fitness
In contrast to aerobic fitness, anaerobic fitness focuses on short bursts of activities including sprinting, jumping, and lifting. Anaerobic exercise has you push your body where oxygen is restricted. Generally, beyond the two-minute threshold, anaerobic exercise becomes an aerobic activity.
Those who have developed their anaerobic fitness may have more defined musculature than those who emphasize aerobic fitness, as well as having more explosive power for short activities.
3. Joint Flexibility
To reach flexibility fitness, a person may need to have access to the full range of motion of their joints. Aging, body temperature, fat tissue, and other issues can restrict flexibility over time, and may cause people to become injured during their other activities as their bodies cannot compensate for the lack of joint flexibility.
Those who have joint flexibility fitness may often utilize daily stretching activities to maintain their flexibility. The two key types of stretching for flexibility are:
Static Stretching – This type of stretching requires you to stretch and hold a position for a set period of time. Generally, this kind of stretching is best as part of a cool-down, as you can overextend a stretch if you do it prior to a workout.
Dynamic Stretching – A more active type of stretching, dynamic stretching has you move joints through the full range of motion. Often, this type of stretching is recommended before a workout to warm up your body.
4. Muscular Strength And Endurance
Muscular strength and endurance can be measured by how much weight you can lift and how many repetitions you can do. Building up greater muscle endurance requires gradually working a muscle group until reaching a significant amount of repetitions.
5. Body Composition
One area of physical fitness that is easy to overlook is body composition. Some people may consider simply being thin as a sign of physical fitness, which is not accurate at all. There is more to being fit if the goal is to achieve a healthy body composition.
Your body composition takes into account your entire body’s mass, all the way from the fat to the bones. So, while the body mass index (BMI) just takes into account your weight and height to determine if you are in a healthy weight range, body composition looks at your percentage of body fat.
It is possible to have a healthy BMI while having an overweight body fat percentage. Building muscle rather than dieting is often recommended to reach your ideal body composition fitness.
Now that you have a better understanding of five different types of physical fitness, it may be easier for you to develop and achieve effective health and fitness goals.