Fitness is a concept that is vastly misunderstood and each individual has his/her own way of defining it.

What most people do not know is that there are 10 components/elements/facets that make up the state of “Fitness”. All these 10 components need to be improved in an individual for him/her to be deemed as physically it.

Now, it doesn’t matter if you are young or old, man or woman; or whether you belong to a certain category of people (bodybuilder, athlete, corporate executive, couch potato, housewife etc). Your fitness program must aim to improve all 10 aspects of fitness.

All human beings are built the same way physiologically. Therefore, we all need each of the components of fitness to enhance the quality of our physical fitness and thereby enhance life.

So….What exactly are the 10 components of fitness?

The 10 Components of Fitness:

1 ) Cardiovascular Endurance: The ability of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to transport oxygenated blood to the working skeletal muscles for an extended period of time without fatigue.

2 ) Muscular Endurance: The ability of skeletal muscles to continuously contract for an extended length of time without experiencing fatigue.

3 ) Musculoskeletal Strength: The combined strength of muscles,bones,ligaments and tendons.

4 ) Flexibility: The ability of the body to sustain full and complete range of motion around the joints.

5 ) Ideal Body Composition: Maintaining an ideal ratio of adipose tissue(body fat) to lean body mass.A male is said to have an ideal body composition when no more that 15% of his bodyweight is made up of body fat. A female is said to have an ideal body composition if no more than 20% of her bodyweight is made up of body fat.

6 ) Power: It is the ability of the skeletal muscles to maximize the force exerted by them in a minimum amount of time.

7 ) Speed: The ability to minimize the time taken to complete a particular movement or task

8 ) Coordination: Coordination is the combination of body movements created with the kinematic and kinetic parameters that result in intended actions.This involves combining several movements into a single distinct movement.

9 ) Agility: The ability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner.

10 ) Balance: Ability to maintain the center of gravity of a body within the base of support with minimal postural sway.

For one to be deemed as physically fit, they need to develop all of these aspects of fitness.

The importance and interdependence of the 10 components of fitness in overall performance:

Each of the aforementioned components play a crucial role in our lives. Whether it is for someone who is a competitive sportsman or just a regular human being, each of these components drastically impact overall performance. It must also be noted that each of these components are interdependent on the other and therefore a compromise in one will definitely lead to short-changing another.

  • Cardiovascular endurance: A decrease in this element makes just about every task very difficult. Performing activities like climbing stairs, walking, jogging, running, swimming, any and all kinds of sports and even strength training becomes extensively difficult with poor cardiovascular endurance. Therefore, a lack of this component makes it difficult to utilize muscular endurance or musculoskeletal strength. For example, even if a runner has great muscular endurance, he will not be able to run for long without cardiovascular endurance. Similarly, a power lifter cannot maximally use his strength once cardiovascular fatigue sets in. Besides these, one’s speed,balance,coordination,agility and power drastically reduce as one reaches cardiovascular fatigue. It must also be noted that very poor cardiovascular endurance can even cause cardiac arrest in the aforementioned activities.
  • Muscular endurance: This is very similar to cardiovascular endurance except that it occurs in the musculoskeletal system and not the cardio respiratory system. A person with poor muscular endurance will experience difficulty in the activities mentioned for cardiovascular endurance. However, this will be due to high build up of lactic acid in the muscles being used for the particular activity. Without muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance cannot be utilized. For eg, even if a kickboxer is not cardiovascularly tired, he will not be