We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Physical Fitness?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Physical fitness refers to one's overall measure of physical, bodily health; it is typically made up of things such as cardiovascular endurance and body composition, as well as overall muscular strength and stamina. Fitness is often broken down into two categories. These are general fitness, also known as health related fitness, as well as specific fitness, also known as performance, or skill related fitness.

General fitness refers to one's overall levels of health, such as those measures mentioned above, including overall endurance. Specific fitness, on the other hand, refers to one's ability to perform specific physical tasks, as related to one's occupation or when playing sports. There is no standard definition for fitness, whether one is referring to general or specific fitness, and different measures or skill levels might lead to different conclusions. Cardiovascular measures as well as body composition measures are some of the most commonly used definitions for determining whether or not someone is physically fit.

When cardiovascular endurance is used to determine one's fitness level, the heart rate is the measure that is often used. Resting heart rate, as well as the maximum heart rate that one achieves, are important when determining cardiovascular health; a measure of the amount of time it takes the heart rate to return to its resting pace after exercise is a good indicator as well. Body composition is another measure of fitness; this refers to one's weight as well as Body Mass Index, or BMI. Genetics play a large part in body composition, which is why a BMI analysis of the percentage of fat versus muscle in the body is a more accurate measure of body composition than just weight.

Other measures of physical fitness are more subjective, such as muscular strength, flexibility, or speed. Skills required to perform a certain job, or play a sport, will also differ for each individual situation. One person's standards of fitness may be drastically different from another's, but they may be equally physically fit. Achieving good fitness takes regular, persistent work; it does not happen overnight, but instead happens gradually over a period of time, generally with a combination of aerobic, strength training, and stretching exercises. A physician or a trainer at a gym may be able to offer specific fitness tests designed to give an individual a clear picture of his or her areas of strength, and where he might need to improve.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By subway11 — On Apr 14, 2011

@Sunshine31 -I agree. I think that physical fitness workouts are important and they don’t have to be complicated.

I sometimes will take a jump rope to the park and while my kids are playing, I will do jump rope sets. I usually will do about 250-300 repetitions about four to five times while at the park.

I really feel the workout all over and it does strengthen my heart because jumping rope is very aerobic. I always try to find a way to do exercise every day even if it just for twenty minutes or so.

You may not think that it makes too much of a difference in a day but after a few weeks you will be able to tell the difference. You will also be able to sleep better and have more energy.

By sunshine31 — On Apr 12, 2011

@Latte31 - I have seen those tests and to be honest I probably wouldn’t do so well either. I have to say that I love that the schools offer physical fitness programs.

My daughter was telling me that they had to jog a mile in her PE class and next week they will do swimming laps. I think that children’s physical fitness programs help them control their mood and their weight.

In fact, exercise is so important that in Japan, they begin their school day with exercise because it allows the students to focus more. I also think that aside from the obvious benefits of a physical fitness workout, I also think that it is a lot of fun and allows kids to bond with each other.

By latte31 — On Apr 10, 2011

I recently looked at balance exercises and these can also determine a different level of fitness. For example, I have a video game that offers balance games along with testing to determine my age with respect to balancing abilities.

The first time that I took the fitness test, I scored the same as a 58 year old woman even though I am only 42. I am a little clumsy and this test really confirmed it.

So although my cardio fitness is good, it is not the only measure of a physical fitness definition.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.