Fitness: Ability to carry out daily tasks with vigour and alertness without undue fatigue
What Is Fitness
Being fit is central to our health and to our sense of well-being. Health and fitness mean more than just the absence of illness. If we are healthy and fit then the physical, mental, cultural and social aspects of our lives are working together.
The health and fitness levels needed to carry out daily activities with little fatigue and still have energy for emergencies.
To have enough fitness for good health we need: Aerobic Capacity, Muscular Strength, Flexibility and Body Composition
This is the level of physical fitness needed to take on the demands of regular sporting activity.
Although we may be fit from a health point of view, we may not have the fitness required to play a sport. There are many types of sports and each has its own unique demands on the body.
Why Do We Need Fitness Why do we want Fitness? Less fatigue Less boredom More opportunity for meeting and making friends Stronger muscles and bones Bigger heart and lungs Improved posture and appearance Greater resistance to illness and disease Improved sleep Improved self image
Benefits Of Exercise
Improved health and well-being
Reduced Mental and Emotional Stress (sleep more soundly and cope with daily pressures)
Essential in the control of excess body weight
Helpful in the prevention of heart disease and the body’s resistance to infection is higher
Improved body appearance
Increased muscle tone and strength
Allows you to get more work done without becoming fatigued
Fitness increased helps us concentrate better, think more quickly and clearly
With an increased level of fitness you can participate more, therefore you can participate more intensively and achieve greater success.
Use of Leisure Time
More sociable lifestyle
As well as being able to do a days work you will have the physical energy for participation in leisure activities.
Functioning of Your Body
Makes the muscles of your heart larger and stronger, so that it can pump more blood with stroke, which means that it slows down your heart rate.
Improves efficiency of lungs suppling oxygen to the blood and removing carbon dioxide from it
Strengthens the fibres of the working muscles allowing them to function more efficiently.
Risks Of Exercise
If you are over weight you run a risk of increased stress on bones and joints.
Possible increased stress on heart could lead to a heart attack.
Starting your program at too great an intensity could cause an injury, if you push beyond your ability.
You may stop exercise before the benefits have been reached.
How Do You Improve Your Fitness?
The human body is an amazing piece of machinery, one that adapts to the stress we put it under. As long as we don’t overly stress our body, it will adapt and strengthen itself too cope. If you run everyday your legs will get stronger and your cardio respiratory system will become more efficient.
Sport scientists have discovered the best way to train and increase our fitness levels in each fitness component. Essentially, we do the exercise that most mimics the action and fitness components we want to train and improve. To increase swimming we swim, to increase strength we lift weights.
Health related components
Sport related components
Health Related Fitness
Health related fitness components are related to your health.
An increase in these components will increase your health.
Sport Related Fitness
Sport related fitness components are specific to your chosen sport.
An increase in these components will increase your sporting ability.
Health Related Fitness Components
Aerobic Capacity (Stamina or Cardio-respiratory Endurance)
Is the ability for heart and lungs to supply oxygen through the blood to the muscles. This allows us to work for relatively long periods without becoming overtired
Is the ability for our muscles to exert a force. This involves maximum strength, muscular power and muscular endurance. It helps to protect joints from injury.
Is the ability to move our joints through their full range of movement.
Is the capacity to carry the right amount of fat and muscle.
Sport-Related Components of Fitness If you want to develop a high level of fitness to play competitive sport you need to develop you sport-related components of fitness!
This is the ability to use strength quickly to produce an explosive effort, for example, when jumping or throwing a shot put.
Is ability to apply maximum force to an immovable object.
Is the ability to work the muscles very hard for a period of time.
Speed (Anaerobic Capacity)
This is the ability to get your body moving quickly. Speed activities are short event requiring rapid movement, such as 100m or 100m track events or 50m swimming.
This is the ability to accelerate quickly, dodge weave and turn. Agility is essential in most team sports for actions such as avoiding opposition and falling over and recovering quickly.
Balance is the ability to stay upright and in control of your body position when you are moving or stationary. Most sporting activities require balance.
Coordination is the ability to time your movements so you can perform them smoothly and accurately. All activities require some sort of coordination.
Is the ability to respond to a stimulus quickly.
Testing the Fitness Components Aerobic Capacity, Muscular Endurance Beep test Body Composition Body Mass Index (BMI) Maximum Strength Grip Strength Coordination Alternate Wall Toss Agility Shuttle run Balance Stork Stand Aerobic Capacity 1.6 km Run or Kasch-Boyer Step Test Muscular Endurance Push-Ups Muscular Power, Maximum Strength Standing Long Jump Speed 50m Sprint Flexibility Sit-and-Reach Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance Speed sit-up (60sec) Fitness Component Test
To be successful at sport we need our energy systems and sporting skills to be at their highest levels. We can reach these levels by training. Training is a regular programme of exercise to improve performance.
Every type of exercise has a particular effect on the body. The type of training that we choose must be right for the type of improvement we want to see. We must use a training programme that put stress on the muscles or body system that we want to develop.
If we want to improve the strength of our arms, then running won’t help: we must use strength training exercises that work our arms.
Principles of Training (S.P.O.R.T.)
To improve our fitness and avoid injury we should follow the SPORT principles:
Specificity – train for your own particular sport
Progression – increase training gradually
Overload – work harder than normal
Reversibility – we lose fitness if we stop training
Tedium – make training interesting
The body takes time to adapt to more or harder exercise. We must build up the stress on our bodies in a gradual, or progressive, way – by lifting heavier weights or running farther. If we build up the stress to quickly we risk injury or find the challenge too great and give up. If we build up the stress too slowly we may become disinterested or bored and give up.
The body needs time to adapt and recover to training. Our bones, tendons and ligaments may take longer to change than our muscles or other body systems.
To improve the fitness of our body systems we need to work them harder than normal. The body will then adapt to the extra stress and we will become fitter.
We can overload our bodies by training more often, by working harder or by spending more time on an exercise.
Eg. To improve our aerobic fitness by running, we could run more times a week, complete the run in a shorter time or increase the distance that we run. Each of these methods will overload the aerobic system. The aerobic system will gradually adapt to cope with the overload and we will become fitter.
Our bodies adapt to stress of exercise by becoming fitter. In the same way, we quickly adapt to less exercise by losing fitness. If our muscles are not used then they atrophy – waste away.
We can not store fitness for future use. It only takes 3 – 4 weeks for our bodies to get out of condition.
We lose our aerobic fitness more easily than our anaerobic fitness. If we follow a strength training programme for 4 weeks we will lose our gains in strength after about 12 weeks of inactivity.
Our training programme must be varied to avoid tedium – boredom. By using a variety of different training methods we will keep our enthusiasm and motivation.
We can follow a long work out with a short one, a hard session with a relaxed one or a high intensity session with a low one.
We may be able to change were we train and when we train.
We can avoid overuse injuries by varying the way we train. Eg. shin splints can be avoided by training on grass instead to hard road.
FITT Training Principle
Frequency: how often we train
We should train at least three to four times a week to improve our fitness.
The body needs time to recover from each training session
We should spread these sessions out over the week
Intensity: how hard we train
We will only get fitter if we work our body systems hard enough to make them adapt.
We must start at the right intensity, depending on our current fitness.
We must understand and use our training thresholds - for aerobic workouts 70–85 per cent of maximum heart rate is recommended.
Time: how long we train
To improve aerobic fitness our training sessions should last longer and our working heart rate level should rise.
Each session must last at least 20 minutes to see any benefit.
Type: what kind of training we do
We should analyse our particular sport to know the fitness and skills we need.
The training programme should include types of activity to develop these skills and fitness.
There are many different training methods. They are all based on the different ways our body adapts to regular exercise and include: continuous training, fartlek training, interval training, circuit training, weight training, plyometric training, and flexibility training.
Used to improve aerobic capacity and muscular endurance
Running, swimming, cycling, rowing, doing any whole-boy activity
Working at the same pace for between 30 minutes and two hours
Being moderately active, working in the aerobic training zone of 60-80% of MHR (Maximum Heart Rate)
Must follow the FITT formula
Why use continuous training?
To improve aerobic capacity
To help improve health-related fitness
To reduce amounts of body fat
To maintain fitness in the off session
The name comes from the Swedish for ‘speed play’: it involves many changes of speed
Walking, running, cycling or skiing at different speeds and intensities
Working for a minimum of 30 minutes
Varying the type of country over which we travel
Why use Fartlek Training
To improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness, depending on how we train
To help games players who need both aerobic and anaerobic fitness
To enjoy moving quickly but within our own ability