When we talk about physical form, we must be clear about what we are referring to, it must be something clear and objective. Taking into account the latter, we can understand by physical form as the state of development in which the different components that form it are found, that is, their levels of strength, resistance, flexibility, neuromotor capacities and body composition. All these components are they find related to each other and the improvement or the worsening of some of them inexorably affect the rest. All of them are equally important when planning the practice of physical activity for health.
Once this is explained, we can understand that “being in shape” implies having a minimum acceptable level of each and every one of these motor and morpho-functional components. Obviously, this minimum level will depend on age and sex.
Being fit means being within a healthy body weight, being acceptably resilient, strong, flexible, agile and coordinated.
Being critical of this approach, we could ask ourselves: Why should it be like this? Why should I look for this improvement of the “integral” physical form?
I think it is important to remember that modern man has not appeared as he is at the moment of history but rather it is the product of an evolution of something over 2 mill. of years. During all that time, that evolutionary process has designed an animal that fundamentally needs its physique to adapt to the environment. This will undoubtedly be the ultimate goal, the ultimate goal pursued by our physical form, the correct and effective adaptation to the environment that surrounds us. The best adapted animals are those that get food, shelter and offspring and these are the keys to the success that man has had as a species.
From our point of view, the maintenance and development of these motor skills will be the ultimate goal that should be pursued to improve fitness. Before we talked about the state of development of a series of components such as strength, endurance, flexibility, neuromotor capabilities and body composition. The equitable development of these components responds to this need to establish and improve these motor skills that are ours. Man is an animal designed to walk, run, jump, climb, throw, etc … and the goal that our physical form must pursue is precisely to adapt our body to the functions that are its own.
Therefore, to know if I am in good physical shape, I only have to perform a battery of approved tests in which the different conditioning factors of the physical form are measured through tests that involve these natural motor skills.