Training Network: Wilderness Survival | Orienteering

Components of Fitness

Physical fitness is the ability to function effectively in physical work, training, and other activities and still have enough energy left over to handle any emergencies which may arise.

The components of physical fitness are as follows:

  • Cardiorespiratory (CR) endurance - the efficiency with which the body delivers oxygen and nutrients needed for muscular activity and transports waste products from the cells.

  • Muscular strength - the greatest amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert in a single effort.

  • Muscular endurance - the ability of a muscle or muscle group to perform repeated movements with a sub-maximal force for extended periods of time.

  • Flexibility - the ability to move the joints (for example, elbow, knee) or any group of joints through an entire, normal range of motion.

  • Body composition - the amount of body fat a soldier has in comparison to his total body mass.
  • Improving the first three components of fitness listed above will have a positive impact on body composition and will result in less fat. Excessive body fat detracts from the other fitness components, reduces performance, detracts from appearance, and negatively affects one's health.

    Factors such as speed, agility, muscle power, eye-hand coordination, and eye-foot coordination are classified as components of "motor" fitness. These factors affect a soldier's survivability on the battlefield. Appropriate training can improve these factors within the limits of each soldier's potential. The Army's fitness program seeks to improve or maintain all the components of physical and motor fitness through sound, progressive, mission-specific physical training for individuals and units.

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    Buy The Book This Site Is Based On
    U.S. Army Field Manual 21-20 is the source material for this website. A soldier's level of physical fitness has a direct impact on his combat readiness. The many battles in which American troops have fought under-score the important role physical fitness plays on the battlefield. The renewed nationwide interest in fitness has been accompanied by many research studies on the effects of regular participation in sound physical fitness programs. The overwhelming conclusion is that such programs enhance a person's quality of life, improve productivity, and bring about positive physical and mental changes. Not only are physically fit soldiers essential to the Army, they are also more likely to have enjoyable, productive lives, and you can too.

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