1. Cardiorespiratory endurance is a measurement of how well your heart, lungs, and muscles work together to keep your body active over a period of time. People with strong cardiorespiratory endurance are able to tolerate situations which cause physical stress, such as surgery, infection, and change in an environment, much more efficiently than people without such endurance. The best way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance is to engage in aerobic exercises such as walking, hiking.
2. Muscular endurance and strength is the ability of our muscles to handle physical force. Muscular strength not only helps with daily tasks, it also helps keep our bones strong. Studies show that people with strong muscles are at much lower risk of developing bone loss or osteoporosis later in life. Regular strength training helps with muscular strength.
3. Flexibility is the ability to move joints through a normal range of motion with ease. Flexibility allows us to adapt to various needs of daily movements. People with limited flexibility are much more likely to injure themselves than people with good flexibility. Daily stretching, yoga, and pilates are some exercises which can improve our flexibility and keep us from getting injured.
4. Balance is an important part of fitness. One of the most common reasons for the elderly people to lose their independence is difficulty in maintaining balance and coordination. An effective way to improve and maintain balance is to regularly perform activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi, and simple balance exercises.
5. Speed is considered to be a part of fitness as it displays our ability to recruit fast twitch muscle fibers which are not otherwise used very regularly. Speed also improves circulation to various organs and increases basic metabolic rate. Examples of exercises which improve speed are running, sprinting, step aerobics etc.
6. Agility in the context of fitness is our body's ability to move quickly in response to a stimulus or as a part of a planned exercise. Like speed, agility improves blood flow, recruits various muscle fibers, improves muscle memory and helps with overall metabolism. Exercises which improve agility are jump roping, high-intensity interval training etc.
Test your fitness level based upon the above six categories of physical fitness. Click here