While there are hundreds of possible questions to ask when broadening your foundational health and fitness knowledge, this week three will be highlighted. Throughout the next several months, I will periodically answer three or four more health and fitness questions; however, if you have specific questions relating to health/fitness, always feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com and I will do my best to answer your questions. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
1) What are the five components of physical fitness? Before answering that question, it is important to note that most comprehensive exercise programs should address all five components of physical fitness. And those are as follows:
- Cardiovascular Endurance – The heart, lungs, and circulatory system’s ability to extract oxygen from the outside environment and transport it to the working muscles.
- Muscular Strength – The capacity of a muscle to exert force against an outside resistance usually measured in a one repetition maximum.
- Muscular Endurance – The capacity of a muscle to exert force against an outside resistance a number of times.
- Flexibility – The range of motion about any joint and all joints have desired specific range of motion.
- Body Composition – The body’s lean to fat ratio.
2) Is it okay to be sore after my workouts? A reasonable amount of soreness is generally acceptable and may be expected after your workouts, particularly during eccentric forms of training. What is reasonable usually means that you can feel and are aware of the muscle/muscle group that you worked when you attempt to use those muscles again one-two days following the workout.
This is usually referred to as Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (i.e., D.O.M.S.) and generally occurs 24-48 hours following a workout or performance of a new physical activity and lasts for 24-48 hours. It is currently believed that this soreness may be a result of micro-tearing of muscle fibers that may occur during certain exercises or physical activities. If the soreness persists for more than a few days, you may have trained a little too intensely during that exercise bout or perhaps, performed an activity that you are unaccustomed to performing. Consequently, listen to your body and work at a pace that is comfortable for you at this point in time.
3) What is the principle of specificity? The principle of specificity states that if you want to be proficient at a physical activity, you will need to perform it regularly (i.e., Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands—S.A.I. D. Principle). For example, if you want to be a good tennis player, you need to play tennis. While running or playing soccer may improve your cardiovascular endurance, and that may help your endurance on the court, it will probably not improve specific tennis skills. This also circles back to the previous question regarding D.O.M.S. If you are a soccer player that is learning to play tennis, you may be quite sore after your first few tennis training sessions. Even though you may use similar muscles during both activities, each require a different level of muscle recruitment, stress and different joint angles which may result in soreness. Once you adapt to the activity, you may find that the soreness you initially experienced dissipates.