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One of the benefits of health and fitness is the improvement of cardiorespiratory function. Cardiorespiratory fitness refers to the body's ability to supply oxygen to the circulatory and respiratory systems, during sustained exercise. Sustained exercise makes these systems stronger by enlarging the heart muscle, pumping more blood with each stroke, increasing the number of small arteries (capillaries), in trained skeletal muscles. This supplies more blood to the working muscles. Regular exercise can aid in the respiratory system by increasing the amount of oxygen that it inhales and distributes through the body's tissues. Exercise can reduce your risk for heart disease and aid in the prevention of hypertension (high blood pressure). It also improves bone mass which in turn reduces your risk for osteoporosis, which is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This can lead to increased risk of bone fractures. The cardiovascular system is improved which deals with heart, lungs and blood vessels. Three of several exercises that can benefit your cardiovascular system are aerobic exercises such as stair climbing, walking and bicycling.

Stretching increases flexibility which can lead to a better sense of well-being, a decrease in your stress levels, and helps your joints to stop hurting. Some of the exercises that aid in flexibility are yoga, tai chi and Pilates.

Muscular strength refers to the amount of force a muscle or group of muscles is capable of exerting. Exercise increases muscular strength. Resistance exercises like lifting weights, playing soccer or football all increase muscular strength.

Muscular endurance is the ability to exert force repeatedly without fatiguing. Lifting barbells, dumbbells, and using some exercise machines are a few ways of increasing muscular endurance.

The final component of a a comprehensive fitness program is body composition which is influenced by regular physical activity which include total body mass, fat mass, fat-free mass, and regional fat distribution. There is significant difference between the body composition of men and women because women have a higher percentage of body fat and lower percentage of fat free mass and bone mineral density. Any type of exercise increases body composition.

One of the skill related factors of fitness is balance. Balance is a biological system that enables individuals to know where their bodies are in the environment and to maintain a desired position. Normal balance depends on information from the labyrinth in the inner ear, from other senses such as sight and touch, and from muscle movement. Another skill related factor is agility, which is the ability of the body to change direction rapidly and accurately while moving in space. Wrestling and football are examples of sports require agility. A third is power. Power is quite simply, might or physical strength. Coordination is the ability of parts of the body to smoothly work together to perform actions. Speed is to travel rapidly, such as running very fast.

In summarization, regular exercise can improve many components of your health, such as increased cardiovascular function, strengthen your heart and lessen your chance of getting high blood pressure. It can also lessen your chances of acquiring diabetes as well as other diseases such as osteoporosis. A commitment to exercise also tones your body and increases flexibility, agility and power. A correct exercise regimen can help you to lose weight and gain muscle tone.

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Health: The Basics.  6th ed. by Rebecca J. Donatelle

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