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Chapter 2
Total health and fitness lifestyle benefits

What Is Total Health and Fitness?

The term total health (wellness) and fitness may be defined in a variety of ways. The most commonly used definition incorporates 5 areas- the mental, emotional, spiritual, social and physical. Although each area is important to your total health and well being, in this text we will only emphasize the physical characteristics of total health. However, since no single area can stand fully separated from the rest, we will discover how small parts of each area are inevitably intertwined with each other.

When defining physical fitness, two terms are commonly used: health related fitness, and athletic performance related fitness (also referred to as motor, or skill fitness). The components of these two types are as follows:

Health related fitness

• Cardiovascular endurance • Muscular strength • Muscular endurance • Muscle and joint flexibility • Body composition (lean mass vs. fat mass)

Athletic Performance Related Fitness (motor or skill fitness)

• Cardiovascular endurance • Muscular strength • Muscular endurance • Muscle and joint flexibility • Body composition • Coordination • Speed • Agility • Power • Balance • Reaction time • Neurological efficiency

Although the five components of health fitness are included in athletic fitness, the additional athletic components are not necessary for total health fitness. However, those who desire to compete athletically will find it essential to go beyond health fitness. Developing the additional athletic fitness components of power, speed, agility, coordination, balance and neurological efficiency are considered mandatory for advanced athletic performance.

In the following chapters, we will...

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