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Understanding the definition of health-related physical fitness

Jun 12, 2021
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As a health and fitness professional, it is my job to understand the terms and definitions that are common in this industry, as well as stay abreast of changing trends. Through my experience, I have found that a number of terms deserve a little more clarification than they are given.

In addition to clarifying the definition of health-related fitness, this article aims to shed some light on some of the associated terms and show their respective distinctions.

Is it just all in one name?

The world of fitness seems to use the Health Related Fitness concept as a generic fitness principle, interchangeable with others like “Fitness”, “Health and Fitness” or simply “Fitness”.

While all these terms may included under the broad term of Health and Fitness, they refer individually to different aspects, both generic and specific. Unfortunately, references to these and other fitness-related terms are often vague, while consistency in their intended use is poor at best; there is a kind of “generally accepted” usage for them, but individuals often rely on their own interpretation, and this can lead to confusion.

That being said, does Health Related Fitness simply infer fitness through good health? Not quite. That is why we need to understand a little more behind these words before digesting the definition.

How did Did the term health-related physical fitness come up?

That is a good question. One could probably ask What is this concept about? Can’t we just use the terms “fitness” or “physical fitness” instead? “ Why is health “related”?

The main reason is due to the fact that most health and fitness terms are used inconsistently and often refer to different concepts or notions. After the 1996 report of the US Surgeon General. (Physical activity and health; Surgeon General’s report), there was a move to try to address the alarming rise in obesity levels among the general American public. Studies and initiatives required standardization among physicians, healthcare professionals, and fitness trainers to deal with the task at hand. Enter “Health Related Physical Fitness”, a job term to address the general state of health among the public.

The definition of health-related physical fitness

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the leading authority in this field, ineffective definitions with unclear and subjective wording, as well as definitions containing terms that themselves require definition, have contributed to the confusion of the term “Physical Fitness “.

There is no reliable guide for health and fitness professionals to measure “fitness” because the term has been defined very loosely and inconsistently. Is Thus that one should consider the concept of health related physical fitness. Therefore, the definition focuses on the 5 components of physical fitness that relate to “good health.” These components are:

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Body composition
  • Flexibility
  • Muscular strength
  • Muscle tightening

On the other hand, the aptitude components related to skills are:

  • Balance
  • Reaction time
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Power

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the definition of physical fitness emphasizes the difference between health-related physical fitness and athletic fitness. Your starting point is the “health” of the American nation, which is often referred to as the “public health perspective.” In that sense, the 5 health-related fitness components are more important than those related to athletic ability (or skill-related components).

Although the concept of health-related physical fitness has a comprehensive association with “good health”, all 5 components are addressed individually by health professionals to allow its measurement.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of the term, what is it for?

Continuing from where the definition left off, the goal of measuring the 5 components is to advise clients on their own health-related physical condition and use the data obtained from the tests to design appropriate exercise programs that can then be evaluated.

The 5 components contribute in a uniform way to form an integral physical state related to health, which is of direct interest to the health of the common citizen, since the concept is normative. In other words, it is a standard that allows consistent request.

Therefore, it is important for those who work in the health and fitness industry. no confuse “general physical fitness” with “health-related physical fitness”.

To conclude, let’s consider this distinction between physical fitness and health-related fitness.

Keep in mind that regular physical exercise can improve overall fitness as well as health-related fitness. However, general fitness is a generic term and depends on a subjective interpretation, whereas health-related physical fitness can be assessed.

Therefore, the distinction between these two terms exists in that health-related physical fitness can be measured according to a set of established comparative norms.

This is where rubber hits the road. “The guidelines established by the ACSM allow healthcare professionals to work with clients to assess and measure their response to exercise and prescribe appropriate exercise programs. A client’s progress can be monitored. and adjust when necessary to achieve your desired fitness goals.

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