A lot of persons have always want to get into shape and look smart , but they find it difficult to pay the ultimate price ( routine exercise and diet).
Some persons prefer to go the gym, while some others prefer to stay at home and have a cool exercise. However, both ideas are good and can give the desired result.
We can be demoralized sometimes while carrying out or after carrying out the requisite exercise and don't see immediate result. But the ability to maintain the exercise routine, will give us the required result in the end.
In the most general sense, a person's fitness is his or her ability to cope with the environment and the pressure it puts on his mental and physical system.
But in a more usual and useful sense, fitness refers to the body's physical capabilities, as measured by tests of strength, speed, and endurance.
Though fitness is usually associated with health, but it is not the same thing. Because an Olympic athlete can be ill, and someone free of diagnosable illness may still be extremely unfit.
In the absence of planned exercise, work and transport effort (such as working and climbing stairs) are the main determinants of a person's actual physical capabilities.
In modern society, as the element of physical activity in work and transport declines for most of us, we are increasingly dependent on planned exercise if we are to hold on to fitness and its benefits.
Components of Fitness
General work capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance and joint flexibility are the four basic components of physical fitness.
The general work capacity, concerns the body's ability to supply itself with oxygen and energy it needs to keep going during general physical activity. It depends on the efficiency of the cardio-vascular and respiratory systems, and is therefore usually called " circulo-respiratory fitness (CR fitness).
In general, CR fitness is called on in those activities that involve a good proportion of the body's muscles over an extended period of time, e.g hard working, running, jogging, swimming, cycling.
The limit of CR endurance is marked by labored breathing and a pounding heart, rather than by failure of a particular muscle group to respond anymore.
Muscular strength concerns the maximum force a particular muscle group can apply in one action. The muscular strength is of two types which are isometric strength and isotonic strength.
The isometric strength is the force applied against resistance while the isotonic strength is the force applied through the full range of movement available to a certain muscle or muscle group (as set by joint or joints acted upon).
An example involving both types of strength is arm-wrestling. The beginning, when the participants arms first lock motionless against each other, involves isometric strength.
The latter part, in which one participant's arm forces the other's down to the table, involves isotonic strength. The two types are at least partly independent of each other.
Muscular endurance concerns the ability of particular muscle groups to go on functioning over a period of time.
Again there is both isometric and isotonic endurance. Isometric endurance involves the ability to maintain force as long as possible against a fixed resistance or in a fixed position (as when the opening lock of arm wrestling continues over a period of time).
Isotonic endurance involves the ability to repeat a muscular movement against resistance as many times as possible (As with push-ups and repetitive weight lifting). In both cases the limit is marked by inability of the muscle group to respond anymore.
Joint flexibility concerns the range through which a joint will move. Except in the case of certain bone disorders, it depends more on the nearby muscles than on the structure of the joint itself.
An individual's physical capabilities are limited not only by his fitness, but also by his motor abilities: co-ordination, balance, agility, reaction, time , speed ,movement time (i.e speed of moving a part of the body), and power (i.e ability for explosive movement).
The efficiency of any system is measured by how much energy output (work) it gives, for a set amount of energy input (fuel). Its efficiency will vary, depending on how near to its limits it is working. The nearer it is to maximum energy output, the more units input are needed for each unit again in output. But all systems are more or less inefficient over all their output range. i.e all give less than 100% return.
The average human body is between 16 and 27% efficient , which compares badly with several product of the human mind. But by regular exercise the body's efficiency can be raised to 56% which is better than any machines.
Factors Affecting Fitness
One of the factors affecting fitness is "potential fitness" . Even if all people were as fit as possible, their physical abilities in terms of strength, speed, and endurance would not be equal. Three main factors limit someone's potential fitness.
Age is one it. The natural atrophy of age affects the efficiency of the whole body. But different aspects of fitness reach peak potential at different times. Speed is at its best at the beginning of adulthood, strength in the late 20s , while endurance can improve up to middle age.
Another is sex. Women are constitutionally more fit than men. For example, they are better able to withstand extremes of temperature, and have a longer life expectancy. Men are specifically more fit, they have a greater potential for strength and speed.
Somatotype (Body build) is also another. The shape of a person's body limits the degree of fitness that can be obtained. Most athletes have a high mesomorphic rating, and many also have a high ectomorphic one. People with a high endomorphic rating do not have the same capabilities.
The second factor affecting fitness is "actual fitness". Similarly, several factors determine actual fitness.
One of it is " medical health". A person cannot become or remain fit if his body is not in good health.
Another is "nutrition". A healthy diet is essential in attaining and maintaining fitness and health.
The other is "weight". If someone is above his desirable weight, his body is always functioning under the burden of an extra load. If someone is too far below optimum weight, his tissues will lack the ability to function at maximum efficiency.
Another is " physical activity" . With lack of activity, the body atrophies. This is shown by the way limbs change shape when encased in plaster casts.
Sleep is also another factor that determines actual fitness. In order to function at optimum efficiency, the body and mind must have adequate rest.
Body fitness can be achieved by having good moderate-vigorous physical exercise,nutrition and adequate rest.
So if you want to be healthy and look smart, engage yourself in sports and daily activities such as running, jugging, swimming, and general body exercise.
This article is just a glimpse of what body fitness is all about, in subsequent publications we will be looking at different aspects of body fitness and ways to implement them effectively.
Thank you for reading!
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 The 7 Best Exercises for a Full-Body Workout
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 The Full-Body Workout For Extreme Fitness!
 Physical fitness
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