What is fitness?

Posted: December 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

Fitness can be defined as staying strong, fit and healthy. But what actually constitutes this term that even has an industry on its own?  Let’s have a look at the components of fitness.


Generally, physical fitness can be classified into health-related fitness and skill-related fitness.

In health-related fitness, it can be broken down into:

1. Muscular strength – The ability of a muscle to exert a force to overcome a resistance.

2. Muscular endurance – Unlike strength, its the ability of a muscle to make repeated contractions over a period of time.

3. Cardiovascular endurance – This is also sometimes known as stamina.

4. Flexibilty – Movement available at our joints, usually controlled by the length of our muscles.

5. Body composition – Body composition is the amount of muscle, fat, bone, cartilage etc that makes up our bodies.


In skill-related fitness it can be broken down into:

1. Agility – The ability to rapidly and accurately change the direction of the whole body.

2. Balance – The ability to maintain equilibrium while stationary or moving.

3. Coordination – The ability to use the senses and body parts in order to perform motor tasks smoothly and accurately.

4. Power – The amount of force a muscle can exert.

5. Reaction time – The ability to respond quickly to stimuli.

6. Speed – The amount of time it takes the body to perform specific tasks.


Okay, so now that we’ve got this information to tell us what is fitness? How do we know if we are physically fit? One way in the Singapore context is to use National Physical Fitness Award or better known as NAPFA test. This test would comprise of 6 stations: number of sit-ups in 1 minute, number of pull-ups in 30 seconds, sit and reach, 40 metres shuttle run, standing broad jump and a 2.4km run.






















Personally, I have attained a Silver Award. These are my scores:

Sit-ups: 40

Standing Broad Jump: 250cm

Sit and Reach: 48cm

Pull-ups: 14

Shuttle Run: 9.6s

2.4km run: 11m 50s


Well as you can see, it was my cardiovascular endurance that brought me down! 10 seconds less and I would fulfil the criteria for Gold! What do you think of this physical fitness assessment? Does it really use a holistic approach to measuring fitness level? Tell me more in the comments!

  1. Norm says:

    your correction is evidence of brgggina?he is truly a snake and i thank god for being the anti-venom for vicious vipers like uts and diced icy icy

  2. It was a funny incident in this context when I was visiting Chennai. I met a very well dressed guy from Bangalore and we started having a chat. He didnt know that I was a Muslim and when I told him the locality that I lived in he in a rather concerned way mentioned “Lot of Muslims live there

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