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Five Components of Physical Fitness

Your physical fitness refers to your ability to perform well during your workday and other activities, while still having enough energy to deal with any additional stresses or emergencies that may arise.

These are the components of physical fitness:

* Cardiorespiratory endurance (CR) – The efficiency with which the body supplies oxygen and nutrients necessary for muscular activity, and removes waste products from cells.

* Muscular strength is the highest amount of force that a muscle, or group of muscles can exert in one effort.

* Muscular endurance is the ability to repeat repeated movements using a sub-maximal force over extended periods.

* Flexibility is the ability to move joints or groups of joints in a normal range of motion.

* Body composition is the ratio of total body mass to body fat.

The first three elements of fitness will improve your body composition and result in less fat. Excessive body weight can negatively impact your health, performance, appearance, and overall well-being.

Motor fitness includes factors such as agility, speed, muscle power and eye-hand coordination. These factors are the most important to your athletic ability. These factors can be improved with the right training. Through sound, progressive and mission-specific physical training, a sensible weight loss and fitness plan aims to improve or preserve all components of motor and physical fitness.

Exercise Principles

It is essential to adhere to basic principles of exercise in order for a program to be effective. All levels of physical training can benefit from the same exercise principles, whether they are Olympic-caliber athletes or weekend runners.

These are the basic principles of exercise.


You must exercise regularly to achieve a training effect. Each of the four components of fitness should be exercised at least three times per week. Regular exercise can cause more harm than good. Regular exercise is important for resting, sleeping and maintaining a healthy diet.


To improve fitness, intensity (how hard) or duration (how long), of exercise must increase gradually.


A program must address all aspects of fitness in order to be effective. Overemphasizing one component may cause harm to the rest.


Offering a range of activities will reduce boredom and increase motivation to make progress.


Specific goals should be the focus of training. People become better runners if they focus their training on running. Swimming is great exercise but it doesn’t improve your 2-mile run time as much than running.


To allow recovery, a hard day of training should be followed by a rest day or training day for the component and/or muscles group(s). Alternating the exercises of different muscle groups every other day is another way to facilitate recovery, especially when you are training for strength or endurance.


To achieve a training effect, the work load for each exercise session must be greater than the usual demands on the body.