Regular exercise develops cardiorespiratory fitness, which is a basic component of health.
What, precisely, is cardiorespiratory fitness?
According to Dr. Nelba Olaso, Ph.D., author of the book, Innovative Schemes for Physcial Fitness, it is “the ability of the heart, blood vessels, blood, and respiratory system to supply fuel and oxygen to the muscles and the ability of the muscles to utilize fuel to sustain exercise.”
“It is frequently considered the most important aspect of physical fitness because those who possess it have a decreased risk of heart disease. It is sometimes referred to as ‘cardiorespiratory endurance’ because a person who possesses this type of fitness can persist in physical activity for long periods of time without undue fatigue," Dr. Olaso adds.
We all talk about physical fitness but have a vague idea of the true meaning of the word. Dr. Olaso explains:
“Physical fitness is a multidimensional state of being. It is the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively. It is a state of being that consists of at least five health-related physical fitness and six skilled-related physical fitness components, each of which contributes to total quality of life.
“Physical fitness is associated with a person’s ability to work effectively, enjoy leisure time, be healthy, resist hypokinetic diseases, such as heart disease, low back pain, adult-onset diabetes, and obesity. It is related to, but different from, health and wellness. Although the development of physical fitness is the result of many things, optimal physical fitness is not possible without regular exercise.
“While ‘hypokinetic’ means too little physical activity and causes diseases, too much physical activity (called hyperkinetic) can also lead to negative effects on health and wellness. In general, physical fitness is the ability of the body to perform one’s daily tasks efficiently without undue fatigue and has extra reserve energy in case of emergency.”
(In Part 2, we will discuss in detail the components of physical fitness and the extent or levels of each acquired attribute which determines the physical condition of a person. Watch for it this coming January 7, 2013. A Healthy New Year to all! – J.P.)