What is physical fitness?

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By JeffreyThurber

It is now getting fashionable to have a smartwatch that can track one’s fitness. Staying physically fit has been a trend in the past decade and people are more aware of the importance of regular exercises.

The question is: Does sports performance equal physical fitness?

Physical fitness is defined as the ability and activity to cope with the demand of various activities. It is not just about athletic performance.

Health-related physical fitness is measured by two aspects: the ability to cope with daily activities as well as the persistency in good functioning of the body. Sports-related physical fitness refers to outstanding performance in a particular kind of sport.

Parents in general would take health-related physical fitness for granted while hoping their children will excel in sports-related physical fitness on top of academic excellence.

Such belief is based solely on parents’ expectation and filled with fallacies.

1. Physical health should not be taken for granted. Physical fitness takes a lot of effort and time to achieve.

2. Physical fitness should not be viewed from only the sports-related aspect, but also its health-related aspect, such as the ability to attend classes and completing assessment.

3. Sports-related physical fitness takes consistent training as well as talent. It cannot be guaranteed by hard work.

4. To achieve long-term physical health, children should focus on developing their health-related physical fitness. It is not just for being healthy per se, but to keep away from obesity, high blood pressure, high lipid level, diabetes or other diseases.

Here are four practical ways for children to maintain their health-related physical fitness through exercising amidst busy school work:

1. Develop interest in at least one competitive sport like ball games or swimming, and practice regularly (say once a week).

2. Walk for thirty minutes consecutively.

3. Practice muscles strengthening and flexibility training twice a week during physical education lesson.

4. Actively participate in open events and receive right amount of training during preparation.

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