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5 Components of Physical Fitness That Can Keep Your Child Healthy for Life

The 5 components of physical fitness are often used in our school systems, health clubs and fitness centers to gauge how good a shape we are truly in. Total fitness can be defined by how well the body performs in each one of the components of physical fitness as a whole. The 5 components that make up total fitness are:

  • Muscular Strength - The maximum amount of force that a muscle or muscle group can exert

  • Muscular Endurance - A muscle/muscle groups ability to perform repeated movements for an extended period of time using sub-maximal force

  • Cardiorespiratory Endurance - How well the body can deliver oxygen and nutrients needed for muscular activity and transportation of wast products from the cells

  • Flexibility - the ability to move the body through an entire/normal range of motion

  • Body Composition - the comparison of the amount of fat to muscle weight as it relates to total body weight

Exercise, which takes into account - muscle strength, muscle endurance and cardiorespiratory endurance, will have an impact on total body fat. This has a positive impact on body composition

The Guiding Principles

These principles are consistent whether your child is an olympic athlete or a toddler that you want to inspire along a healthy life. To develop an effective program it is best to stick to the plan.

Regular Exercise

Exercising often will give you the training effect. The first four components above should be done at a minimum three times a week. Regularity with your program is critical as it relates to rest, sleep and eating a sensible food plan. An infrequent attack of this plan can actually cause more harm than good.

Progressive Resistance

As your child exercises with more regularity then they will need to increase the intensity and duration of their exercise in order to continue making progressions. Intensity applies to increased weight which for younger children will be in very small increments until they are about 14. Even then it won't take much since their bodies are geared for major growth at this point in their lives. Duration or how long they exercise will increase as they get more comfortable with their program.


Part of the problem for child athletes today is getting into a specialized sport at an early age. This can create an imbalance in their muscular development. It is best to add-in programs/activities that will address all the fitness components and other ranges of motion for a better all around development.


The Spice of Life! Change things up and keep your kids moving forward and having fun. This will help to translate into a lifetime of fitness.


Set fitness goals with your children. Maybe your son wants to throw the ball further or your daughter wants to run faster on the soccer field. So if your kid is spending most of their time in the pool swimming that will help provide some variety towards their program but it won't get them towards their goal.

Rest and Recovery

Our bodies don't actually grow stronger or bigger from doing the exercise by itself. In order for muscles to grow bigger/stronger they need some down time. After an intense workout it is usually best to alternate a different muscle group for the next days workout or take a full rest day. A little down time goes a long way.


This is pushing the body to achieve maximum results by utilizing exercises that exceed the normal demands placed on the bod.


A personal coach and program can help you achieve results faster and they can help ensure the safety of your child. You'll most likely notice that they work in the 5 components of physical fitness without directly calling them out.

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