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Health related fitness factors

Everyone needs to have a level of fitness [Fitness: The ability to meet the demands of the environment. ] for everyday activities.

Health related exercise improves the health related fitness factors which are also useful to sportspeople. These are:

  • Cardiovascular fitness is the ability to exercise the whole body for long periods of time and is sometimes called stamina.
  • Muscular strength is the amount of force a muscle can exert against a resistance. It helps sportspeople to hit, tackle and throw.
  • Muscular endurance is the ability to use voluntary muscles many times without becoming tired. It helps sportspeople to sprint or repeat quick actions for longer.
  • Flexibility is the range of movement possible at a joint. It helps performers to stretch and reach further.
  • Body composition is the percentage of body weight which is fat, muscle or bone. It helps sportspeople depending on the type of sport they play, eg heavy rugby players are more effective in the scrum than lightweight players, but light long distance runners will always beat heavyweights.
  • NB If you are studying AQA, you should also list speed as a health related fitness factor.
  • Speed is the differential rate at which an individual is able to perform a movement or cover a distance in a period of time or how quickly an individual can move. This helps all games players to move into position or get away from opponents quickly.

Flexibility helps footballers stretch for the ball. Photo courtesy of Zach Stern

Jogging improves cardiovascular fitness

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