Exercise offers various benefits; it will improve fitness, muscle tone and when used in conjunction with a calorie
controlled diet, it will help you to lose weight.
Exercise is one of the most important factors in the overall health of an individual. Listed among its benefits are:
Increased capacity for physical work (strength endurance)
Increased cardiovascular (heart and arteries/veins) and respiratory efficiency
Decreased risk of coronary heart disease
Changes in body metabolism, e.g. losing weight
Delaying the physiological effects of age
Physiological effects, e.g. reduction in stress, increase in self-confidence, etc.
Basic Components of Physical Fitness
There are 4 all encompassing components of physical fitness and we need to briefly define and clarify their roles:
Is the capacity of a muscle to exert a force against resistance. Strength contributes to power and speed and is of great
importance to a majority of sports people.
Is the capacity to exert a force repeatedly over a period of time, e.g. it is the ability of your legs to carry you 10 Km
Is the range of motion about a joint. Improving flexibility involves the stretching of muscles and tendons to maintain
or increase suppleness, and provides increased resistance to muscle injury or soreness.
Is the most essential component of physical fitness. It is the efficient functioning of the heart and lungs.
The largest amount of oxygen that you can use per minute during exercise is called your maximum oxygen uptake
(MVo2). This is often referred to as your aerobic capacity
The effort that you can exert over a prolonged period of time is limited by your ability to deliver oxygen to
the working muscles. Regular vigorous exercise produces a training effect that can increase your aerobic capacity by
as much as 20 to 30%. An increased MVO2 indicates an increased ability of the heart to pump
blood, of the lungs to ventilate oxygen and of the muscles to take up oxygen.
This means "without oxygen" and is the output of energy when the oxygen supply is insufficient to meet
the body's long term energy demands. (For example, 100 meter sprint).
THE TRAINING THRESHOLD
This is the minimum level of exercise which is required to produce significant improvements in any
physical fitness parameter.
As your become more fit, a higher intensity of exercise is required to create an overload and therefore provide