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Understanding the Definition of Medical Fitness

Being a Conditioning Professional, it is my job to know terms and definitions that are commonplace to this industry, as well to keep abreast of evolving trends. Through my experience, I have found that a number of terms deserve a little more clarification than that that they are granted.

Aside from clarifying the definition of Health Related Fitness, this article intends to shed some light on a few of the associated terms, and also to show their respective distinctions.

Can it be simply all in a name?

The fitness world usually use the concept Medical related Fitness like a generic fitness principle - interchangeable with others like "Physical Fitness", "Health and Fitness" or simply just "Fitness."

While most of these terms can be included beneath the broad term Wellness Physical Fitness, they individually talk about different aspects - both generic and particular. Unfortunately, references to the telltale and other fitness-related terms tend to be vague, while consistency within their intended use is meager at best; there is a kind of "generally accepted" use on their behalf, but individuals often count on own interpretation, and also this can lead to confusion.

With that in mind, does Health Related Fitness simply infer fitness by means of good health? Not quite. That is why we need to understand a little more behind these words before digesting the definition.

How did the word Health Related Physical Fitness happen?

That is a good question. You could probably ask what exactly is this concept all about - are we able to not simply use the terms "Fitness" or "Physical Fitness" instead?" Why Health "Related"?

The key reason stems from the fact that most conditioning terms are used inconsistently and sometimes refer to different concepts or notions. Subsequent to the 1996 report from your US Surgeon General (Physical Activity and Health; a study of the Surgeon General), there is a move to try and address the alarming rise in obesity levels on the list of general American public. Studies and initiatives required standardization among clinicians, doctors and nurses and fitness trainers to grapple with all the task at hand. Enter "Health Related Physical Fitness", a practical term to address the overall state of health among the public.

The definition of Health Related Fitness

In accordance with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the principle authority in this field, ineffective definitions with unclear and subjective wordings, as well as definitions containing terms which themselves require defining, have brought about confusing the term "Physical Fitness."

There is certainly no reliable guide for Physical fitness Professionals to measure "Physical Fitness", for the reason that term has been so loosely and inconsistently defined. It is therefore that one should consider the very idea of Health Related Fitness. The meaning therefore centers on the five Components of Physical Fitness which correspond with "good health." These elements are:

    Cardiorespiratory Fitness
    Body Composition
    Muscular Strength
    Muscular Endurance

Alternatively, Skill Related Fitness Components are:

    Reaction Time

In line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the meaning of Physical Fitness emphasizes the main difference between Health Related Physical Fitness and Athletic Ability Conditioning. Its point-of-departure is the "health" of the US nation, which is often termed as the "public health perspective." In that regard, the 5 Health Related Fitness Components will be more important than those in connection with Athletic Ability (or Skill Related Components).

Even though concept of Health Related Fitness has an integral association with "good health", the 5 Components are addressed individually by physicians to allow for their measurement.

Given that we have a deeper comprehension of the term, what purpose does it serve?

Continuing in which the definition left off, the intention of measuring the 5 Components is always to advise clients regarding their own particular Health Related Fitness, and to use data from the tests to design appropriate exercise programs that may then be evaluated.

The 5 Components contribute evenly to make up a holistic Medical related Fitness, which is of direct interest for the health of the ordinary citizen, in that the concept is normative. In other words, it is a standard that allows for consistent application.


It is therefore important for those working in the medical and fitness industry never to mistake "overall physical fitness" with "Health Related Conditioning."

To conclude, why don't we consider this distinction between Health and fitness and Health Related Fitness

You need to bear in mind that regular work out can improve overall Conditioning, as well as Health Related Fitness. However, overall fitness is a generic term and is up to subjective interpretation, while Health Related Fitness can be assessed.

The excellence therefore, between those two terms, exists for the reason that Health Related Physical Fitness can be measured according to a couple of established comparative norms.

This is when the "rubber hits the road." The guidelines set out by the ACSM enable health professionals to work with clients to examine and measure their a reaction to exercise and prescribe appropriate exercise programs. A client's progress may then be monitored and adjusted where necessary in order to obtain the desired workout goals.

Cleto Tirabassi is a certified Fitness Trainer with all the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).

His work centers on the "sensible approach" to Health Related Fitness, which entails using practical, flexible and sustainable solutions to achieve optimal numbers of health and physical fitness.


His clientele belongs mostly towards the group he calls "average everyday people", who simply speaking want to be in excellent shape, though lead a conventional life.