There are many definitions of fitness but they all fall under one umbrella term: that of being healthy. Proper fitness implies that you possess all the vital organs and tissues required to sustain your body’s functions and provide it with the adequate resources it requires for its upkeep. In other words, fitness signifies good health or a satisfactory quality of life. A healthy individual can perform all his/her bodily functions efficiently and effortlessly. The term “fit” itself signifies a state of good health.
Fitness is a condition of physical well-being and, in particular, the ability to do various parts of regular activities, sports and occupations without injury or any form of disability. Physical fitness is usually achieved through proper nutrition, regular-interval exercises, adequate sleep and enough rest. It includes testing the following: heart rate, pulse, respiration, muscle strength, bone mineral density, total blood pressure, hormonal (testosterone, estrogen), respiratory capacity, muscular endurance, visual acuity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, muscular power, and body composition. Based on the results of these tests, fitness trainers make recommendations about changes to an individual’s lifestyle or to a specific workout regimen. The changes are usually suggested for short-term use, for example, to treat injuries or to achieve the desired weight loss.
As an athlete or a person engaged in sports or physical activity, it is important to keep in shape. This allows you to perform your best at whatever sport you are engaged in. Aerobic or cardiovascular fitness refers to the ability of the heart and lungs to efficiently pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. Aerobic fitness for athletes focuses on increasing endurance or stamina for a specific sport such as running, swimming, bicycling, hiking, golfing, tennis, basketball, weightlifting, etc.
General fitness refers to your ability to lead a healthy lifestyle with respect to your overall health. General fitness involves all the physical activities of your life, which can include but are not limited to: breathing, eating, walking, etc. Blood sugar levels are often monitored during exercise to ensure that sufficient amounts of glucose are supplied to the body. The tests used to determine a general fitness level include resting heart rate, treadmill exercises, and VO2 max exercises. These are designed to measure how well the heart and lungs perform while you are resting.
Cardio fitness measures the physical fitness level based on your ability to exercise vigorously for a certain period of time without taking oxygen. It is measured using a treadmill, elliptical trainer, StairMaster, bike, or other similar equipment. Activities that promote cardio fitness include walking, jogging, swimming, leg workouts, and aerobic dancing. Anaerobic fitness measures your ability to use oxygen during physical activity. It is measured using a treadmill, elliptical trainer, StairMaster, bike, or other similar equipment.
Your physical fitness level can also be assessed by your oxygen consumption. Oxygen consumption is an important determinant of heart and lung function. If your heart and lungs work harder it has to expend more energy. An oxygen analysis, such as the pulse oximeter used for medical professionals, will indicate the amount of oxygen consumption, and the ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide, which is known as ROC. A high ROC indicates your cardiovascular system is out of optimal condition, and may be a cause of serious illness or injury. For this reason, an MD may recommend an appropriate exercise protocol in order to maintain optimal health.