Comprehensive guide to fitness

Definition of fitness

Fitness, in general, is health and well-being, and the ability to occupy and daily activities and sports

fitness: is the level of the physical condition on which an athlete depends on the fitness components of his sport that are measured by measuring devices and scientific tests and compared to the optimum level or is the individual’s ability and physical efficiency to perform his role in life without stress or fatigue

Fitness is divided into two parts:

General fitness (health and well-being)
Special fitness (defined based on the ability to perform specific aspects of sports or any other function).
Fitness is usually achieved through proper nutrition, exercise, and adequate rest.

Fitness has been known in previous years to be able to carry out daily activities without excessive fatigue. However, changes in lifestyles following industrial revolutions and increased leisure times, make this definition insufficient. These days, physical fitness is a measure of the body’s ability to work efficiently and effectively in work activities and leisure times, to be healthy, resistant to ADHD, and to face emergency situations. The essential elements of fitness are: flexibility, elongation, speed, muscle strength, agility, muscle ability, balance, accuracy, muscle endurance, periodic respiratory endurance, and finally compatibility.

Its importance

Its significance is social, health, psychological and mental development.

In social terms

It allows the individual to acquire social experiences that help a lot in forming his personality, saturate the feeling of belonging to the group, develop sound social and moral values, and increase his interaction in society if he is distinguished for his high physical fitness. Among the social values that can be acquired by the individual through the exercise of sports activities: sportsmanship, cooperation, leadership, discipline, pleasure, good citizenship, social relations, obedience, order.

From a health standpoint

fitness improves general health, increases the vital capacity of the lungs, increases the size of the heart, works with fewer beats and economics, develops the muscular system, reduces widespread diseases, especially heart diseases and excessive obesity. the weight. And help build an attractive personality.


It provides the individual with multiple opportunities to have the ability to express himself, and to develop emotional control that enables him to behave in critical situations. It also works to create a balanced personality characterized by inclusion and complementarity, psychological balance, pleasure, success and contentment.


Mental development

Sports activities provide individuals with the values, experiences, and cognitive concepts that can be acquired through the practice of activities. Sports activities develop various mental skills and processes such as understanding, application, analysis, composition, perception, perception, attention, and thinking.

Fitness elements associated with motor performance

Muscle strength: It is the ability to exert the maximum energy possible for a muscle. Factors affecting it are muscle size, number of muscle fibers, muscle elasticity, type of muscle fibers, and psychological factors.

the speed: Is the performance of any physical activity in the shortest possible time the factors affecting it, the type of muscle fibers, muscular nervous compatibility, muscle strength, muscle elasticity and willpower.

Flexibility: It is the ability of the individual to perform a movement activity in the widest extent that the muscle allows the factors affecting it. The ability of the joints of the body to move well, stretch muscles, and continuous and structured training.

Fitness: It is the ability of an individual to change the direction of his body on the ground or air in the least possible time. Factors affecting it are the integrity of the nervous system, muscular ability, type of physical activity and rapid response.

Balance: It is the ability to keep the body from falling for the longest possible period. The factors affecting it are the organic body integrity, the balance rule, the height of the center of gravity, the gravitational line, and psychological factors.

Neuromuscular compatibility: It is the individual’s ability to merge a group of movements at one time, and the factors affecting them are general compatibility, which are the movements that a person performs on a daily basis, and special agreement which requires training on a specific type of movement.

How to measure health-related fitness

In the following paragraphs, we will briefly highlight how to measure health-related fitness, starting with cardio-respiratory fitness, then physical composition and ending with muscular-skeletal fitness.

Measurement of cardiac respiratory fitness

Respiratory cardiovascular fitness is one of the most important elements of health-related fitness due to its close relationship to the functional potential of the respiratory circulatory system and can be defined as the ability of the respiratory cardiac system to take oxygen from the external air by the respiratory system and then transport it by the heart and blood vessels and then extracted by the body cells, especially Muscles to provide the energy needed for muscle contraction and respiratory cardiac fitness is measured directly in the laboratory by exposing the examiner to a graduated physical effort until fatigue with the measurement of breathing gases and then determining his maximum oxygen consumption. It can also be estimated indirectly through field tests, the most important of which is measuring the time needed to cut A limited distance by running and walking, and this distance is usually from one kilometer to 3 kilometers, depending on the type of test used and the sample to measure its physical fitness, available capabilities and available time.


Measuring skeletal muscle fitness

This fitness is represented by the muscular strength, muscular endurance, and articular flexibility. Laboratory or field tests can be used to measure this type of fitness. A common field test for measuring muscle strength is a pressure test in the arms from the oblique or prone flexing position by the muscle as an indication of the strength of the muscles of the arms and chest belt. Fist strength can also be used as an indicator of muscle strength, while muscle endurance is usually measured by sitting sitting from lying with knees bent and for a minute as an indication of abdominal muscle strength and endurance. It is used to measure joint flexibility, direct and indirect tests, and indirect and most common tests, and the ease of stretching the arms from Sitting position using the elastic box.

Body composition measurement

The body is generally composed of fatty and non-lipid parts. The non-lipid parts include the muscles that represent the largest proportion of non-lipid parts, bones, connective tissues and water. It is known that an increase in fat in an individual is not desirable as this increase in fat is positively linked to many diseases and is also linked to Negatively with physical performance, and the human body needs a minimum level of fat estimated at 5% in men and about 12% in women. The ideal proportions of body fat in men in the youth stage are 10 to 18% of body weight and for women from 15 to 23% of weight The body, if the fat percentage exceeds 25% of the body weight in men or more than 32% in women, the fat percentage is considered high in obesity or obesity, and the percentage of fat is measured in a field and other laboratory way. In certain areas of the body to infer the amount of fat present under the skin, which is an indication of body fat in general, and skin fold measures per se can be used as independent standards for obesity or obesity in an individual or the conversion of this pain Measurement of lipid ratios using predictive mathematical equations for this purpose. Measuring the thickness of the skin fold requires good training and experience so that the measurement can be carried out accurately and consistently. For this reason, some people, when there is not enough experience and training, resort to using an indicator as an indicator of obesity and the body mass index is calculated through (Body Mass Index) Body mass: Dividing the weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters, and this indicator is easy to use and does not require tools, but it is not a very accurate indicator of obesity or obesity because it is an indicator to fit weight and bricks only, and therefore it is not suitable as an indicator of obesity for those who have a large muscle mass such as bodybuilding athletes or children and young adults. In a period of growth spurt where the observed increase in length and weight is generally considered to be a BMI within the appropriate limits for an adult if it ranges from 20 to 24.9 kg / m, and if it reaches 25 to 29.9 kg / m 2 this indicates an increase in weight, and if It is more than 30 kg / m 2, this is an indication of obesity, and if it is higher than 40 kg / m 2, it means excessively high obesity. As for the BMI measures for those under 18 years old, there is no agreement about it, but it is certainly without the adult standards. What are women? The percentage of fats is 15%.

Development of health-related fitness elements

Before touching on how to develop health-related fitness elements, it is first necessary to emphasize the need to observe the foundations of physical preparation or physical preparation and from these foundations or rules the base of the gradient and means the graduation in the intensity of the activity and its duration and in its weekly repetition the graduation is not necessary only to prevent the occurrence of injury as a result of the stress incurred On the body, but it is an important requirement so that the characteristic to be developed can be developed in a valid and codified manner. If we want to develop periodic respiratory endurance through aerobic exercises walking or jogging, for example, it must start with a low intensity and then gradually increase the period until reaching the required period, and so if we want to develop strength Muscle it can start with limited resistance and then after a period of time to increase it and so for repetition it is also necessary when developing muscle strength and muscular endurance start with the major muscles of the body first then the smaller muscles and make a rotation between the muscles of the upper part of the body and the muscles of the lower part of it when performing physical exercises as it is necessary From performing a general warm-up to the body through exercises that employ major muscles of the body, such as walking, jogging, or regular exercises. Hands for the major muscles of the body with no stretching exercises before and after training, and an important basis that must be taken into account when developing physical fitness is the rule of increasing the burden, which means that the training dose must be increased in terms of intensity, duration, or repetition, or a combination thereof so that progress can be made in The element to be developed, for example, to increase the periodic respiratory endurance after a period of training, it is necessary to increase the intensity slightly, taking into account the rule of graduation. It may lead to an increased risk of structural, muscular, and articular injuries to the individual. See paragraphs for target severity.

The development of cardiac respiratory fitness

To develop respiratory fitness or periodic respiratory tolerance, as it is sometimes called, there must be a regular commitment to a type of physical activity with practice at a specific intensity, for a specific period, and with a specific frequency

Quality of physical activity

To develop cardio-respiratory fitness, physical activity practiced must be aerobic and aerobic activity is that activity that takes a rhythmic nature and is practiced with moderate intensity without extreme intensity and the individual can continue to exercise for a period of time without being stopped by physical stress and aerobic sports are called by that name because it is done during their exercise The use of oxygen by the body’s cells to burn fuel for the purpose of producing the energy needed for muscle contraction, that is, the energy used comes from an air or oxygen source and not because it is practiced in the open air as it is a mistake common to some of the examples of aerobic activities Rope skipping, stationary and regular cycling, and participation in games such as soccer, basketball, handball, squash, tennis and badminton.


Severity of practice

To develop cardio-respiratory fitness, physical activity must be at a specific intensity. This intensity will be among adults according to recent recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine as follows:

At a severity of 65 to 90% of the maximum heartbeat, beginners and low-fitness people can start with a severity equivalent to 55% of the maximum heartbeat. The maximum heartbeat is estimated through the following predictive equation 220 years of age or at a severity of 50 equivalent to 85% of the maximum heartbeat reserve
Beginners and those with low fitness can start very hard, equaling 40% of the maximum heart rate reserve and the maximum heart rate reserve equal to the maximum heartbeat minus the resting heartbeat.

The second method is more accurate than the first method because it takes into account the heart rate in comfort, which varies in individuals depending on physical fitness and age.
Example using the first method is a 20-year-old who wants to jog to achieve cardio-respiratory fitness and wants to know the minimum heart rate he must achieve.

Appreciate his extreme heartbeat
220 age
200 strokes / s = 220 20

We calculate the minimum target heart rate, which is 65% of his maximum heartbeat
130 strokes / s = 65 x 200
So he must jog when intensity raises his heartbeat to 130 beats / s or more to develop cardio-respiratory fitness.

Example using the second method: A 20-year-old who wants to practice cycling to develop cardio-respiratory fitness, knowing that his heart beat at rest is 80 beats / s.

I appreciate his extreme heartbeat
20 – Age (years) 200 strokes / s = 220 – 20

2 We calculate the maximum heart rate reserve:
His maximum heartbeat resting his heartbeat 120 beats / s = 200 – 80

3 We calculate the minimum target heart rate of 50% of his maximum heartbeat reserve
60 stroke / s = 50 x 120 100

4 We add this to his heart beat in comfort
140 beats / s = 80 + 60, then he must practice riding a bike when the severity of his heartbeat is raised to 140 beats / s or more to develop cardio-respiratory fitness

Using the ratio to the maximum heartbeat or to the maximum heartbeat reserve is an easy procedure that anyone can do as it only requires knowing how to measure the heartbeat by sensing the pulse at the region of the radial artery when the hand or carotid artery on both sides of the neck for 10 seconds then multiplying the result in 6 Let’s get the heart rate per minute. The purpose, as mentioned above, is that the intensity of the exercise for aerobic physical activity is sufficient to achieve cardiovascular benefit, which can be called here by the targeted heartbeat, i.e. that we aim to reach

Duration and frequency of practice

Aerobic physical activity must be practiced for a period ranging from 20-60 minutes at a time and twenty minutes represent the minimum duration of exercise each time that recent recommendations for a physical activity recipe for the purpose of improving respiratory cardiac fitness issued by the American College of Sports Medicine indicate that twenty minutes It can be divided into two periods of duration of at least 10 minutes each, thus obtaining the same benefits that can be obtained from the continuous twenty minutes. That is, the benefits are cumulative, and this makes it easier for individuals who do not have a full hour per day, for example, to divide the exercise of physical activity into two periods each A period of up to 30 minutes. As for the required repetition, it is from 3 to 5 days a week. In order to preserve the health benefits of exercising physical activity, it is necessary to regularly practice that failure to perform physical training one of the days after acquiring cardiovascular fitness will not affect much of it, and reducing The size of the physical training, the duration of the training, and the number of times with the intensity of the training leading to maintaining cardiac respiratory fitness after its acquisition for a period ranging from 5 to 15 weeks, depending on the amount of reduction And the level of cardiac respiratory fitness before the reduction. When the adaptation goes away after stopping physical training, what is meant by physiological adaptation is those changes that occur to the composition of the body or the functions of its systems as a result of exercising physical activity or regular physical training and it is known that stopping physical activity for two weeks, leads to a significant decrease in cardiac respiratory fitness and increases This decrease in acquired physiological functions as the stopping period increases, and stopping physical activity for two months or more leads to a loss of the overall physiological adjustment in cardiovascular competence, and therefore it is necessary to take into account these physiological foundations for adaptation and loss of adaptation when rehabilitating the cardiovascular fitness for those who stopped for a period as a result of the leave Or for injury and dealing with them as beginners, their low respiratory fitness levels are taken into account depending on the layoff.

Development of skeletal muscle fitness

Skeletal muscle fitness associated with health includes both the element of muscle strength, muscular endurance, and articular flexibility. It is known that there are a number of scientific evidence indicating the importance of these elements for health, especially the health and safety of the musculoskeletal system.

Muscle strength and muscular endurance

It is necessary that muscular strength exercises include taking into account the rules of progression and increasing the burden and diversification alternating between exercises of the upper body and the lower part of it and always starting with the bigger and lower muscles. Muscle strength and muscular endurance can be developed through the Swedish exercises as a way to achieve this, where weight is often used The body or the limb to be developed as a resistance, but in the event that muscle strength training and muscular endurance training devices are available, weight training devices are good and safer than free weights and can motivate the practitioner to continue the practice. See the note on weight training in children and young adults later. Medical balls can also be used as a means of strengthening Body muscles and increase their endurance and in order to develop muscle strength and muscular dissolution for the purpose of health, it is believed that a single dose group of training is sufficient, and it is at a rate of 8 to 12 repetitions of each muscle group provided that it is practiced from 2-3 days per week.