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What is Physical Fitness? Foundation of Physical & Mental Health
What Determines Basic Fitness - Age, Gender, Genetics, Health Status
Physical Fitness

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Physical Fitness Guidelines

Physical Fitness Advice

What is Physical Fitness?

Physical fitness means having the physical capability to perform all our daily tasks vigorously and alertly, without fatigue, while still retaining enough spare energy to cope with stress and other emergency demands. A physically fit person is better able to maintain energy and health than an unfit person.

The Foundation of Physical & Mental Health

Physical fitness includes the performance of the cardio-respiratory system (heart and lungs), and the skeletal/ muscular strength, stamina and flexibility of the body. Body composition (muscle-to-fat ratio) is another component of fitness. Furthermore, since physical health affects mental health (eg. through release of endorphins), being physically fit helps us maintain mental alertness, emotional stability and mood.

What Determines Physical Fitness?

Physical fitness is partly determined by age, gender, heredity and genetic health. These fitness factors are beyond our control. But our physical condition is also strongly influenced by our exercise and eating habits, as well as our mental attitude. These things are definitely within our control. For example, if we value the benefits of being fit and healthy, we might invest in exercise equipment or join a gym. Or we might do workout-exercises at home. On the other hand, if we regard exercise as a low priority, chances are we will stay inactive and unfit. Bottom line: whether we improve our fitness levels and boost our physical health is largely a matter of choice, rather than genetics.

Sources include:
- President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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