Benefits of Physical Fitness
Increased energy levels
Increased self-esteem and confidence
Stronger and more efficient heart
Increased capacity to do physical work, including sport performance
Injuries are less frequent, less severe, and recovery time is shorter
Improved appearance
Improved emotional control
Sleep better (therefore you have more energy during the day)
Body fat stays within normal healthy range
Increased life expectancy/enjoy more healthy years
Improves overall health
Five Health Related Fitness Components: The following are lifelong fitness
components necessary to ensure the body can perform normal daily tasks.
1. Cardiovascular Endurance: the ability of the heart, blood vessels, and lungs to supply
oxygen to the working muscles. Cardiovascular endurance can be tested by completing
the mile run, 1.5 mile run, step test, PACER, 12 minute cycle, or the 12 minute swim.
2. Muscular Strength: the ability of the muscles to exert a force. The maximum amount
of force that a muscle can generate in a single effort. Muscular strength in the upper body
is tested by the maximum bench press and the lower body by the maximum leg press.
3. Muscular Endurance: the ability to efficiently use muscles over a longer period of
time. The ability of a muscle to repeatedly contract or sustain continuous contraction
involving less than maximum force. Muscular endurance can be tested by performing the
one minute sit-up test or push-up test.
4. Flexibility: the ability to move at the joints through a full range of motion. The range of
motion through which the body’s joints are able to move. Flexibility is evaluated with a
sit and reach test, arm and shoulder flexibility test, and prone trunk test.
5. Body Composition: the amount of body weight that is fat compared to muscle, bones,
and other body tissues. Body fat percentage can be estimated by four different testing
protocols: skinfolds, hydrostatic weighing, bioimpedence analysis, and BMI (Body Mass
Skill Related Fitness Components: The following components are related to
sport/athletic performance and they can be argued to be improved by one’s training (inherent to
or improved by training).
1. Speed: also referred to as movement time, the ability to move the body or parts of it very
quickly. (40 yd. Dash/20 yd. Dash)
2. Power: the ability to exert muscular strength quickly, strength and speed
combined.(standing long jump, vertical jump)
3. Agility: the ability to start, stop and change direction quickly and with precision. (shuttle
run, jingle jangle, 3 cone drill)
4. Balance: the ability to maintain a certain posture or to move without falling. (balance
beam activities)
a. Static balance: maintain equilibrium in a stationary position.
b. Dynamic balance: maintain equilibrium when moving the body.
5. Reaction Time: also referred to as quickness, the period from when a stimulus is
perceived to when movement begins. (starting a race, tennis ball drop)
6. Coordination: the ability to use your senses together with your body parts; ability to use
two or more body parts at the same time (hitting a tennis ball, hand-eye
Cardiovascular Endurance
Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system to supply
oxygen and nutrients to working muscles efficiently. It allows activities that involve large
muscle groups (walking, running, swimming, biking, etc.) to be performed over long periods of
time. From a health standpoint, cardiovascular or aerobic fitness is generally considered to be
the most important of the fitness components.
Benefits of Cardiovascular exercise activities
Reduce your risk of heart disease
Stronger and more efficient heart (increase stroke volume)
Lower heart rate at rest, during exercise and recovery
Lower blood pressure at rest, during exercise, and recovery
Lower cholesterol (lower total, raise HDL)
Improved body composition, burn fat
Help you look and feel better
Improved ability to perform work, faster recovery
Maintenance of a healthy heart and cardiovascular system
Increase circulation and improve performance of your heart and lungs
4 Characteristics of Cardiovascular Activity
1. Large Muscle Groups – the larger the muscle mass involved, the better the activity.
2. Rhythmic – you can regulate the pacing of the activity (slow down or speed up) and still
perform the exact task.
3. Continuous – the activity is sustained over time.
4. Aerobic – the nature of the activity is dependant upon the strength and efficiency of the
heart supplying oxygen.
F.I.T.T. Principle
When developing a personalized plan to improve ones cardiovascular fitness (towards optimal
health), the FITT plan should be followed.
5 days a week
60%-85% of your maximum heart rate (in your target HR zone)
at least 30 minutes continuously
Aerobic activities using large muscle groups
Aerobic Activity vs. Anaerobic Activity
Aerobic endurance is the ability to perform large muscle, whole body physical activity of
moderate to high intensity over extended periods of time. Aerobic activity depends upon the
heart, lungs, and blood vessels to transport oxygen to the muscles. Aerobic means doing
activities “with air.”
Anaerobic exercise refers to high intensity exercise like all-out sprinting or very heavy weight
lifting. After 90 seconds, you begin gasping for air and you feel a burning sensation in your
lungs. It is activity done in short bursts of intense movement whereas the body cannot supply
blood and oxygen to the muscles as fast as the muscles use it. The oxygen demand for the
activity is beyond what the body can sustain.
Aerobic Activities: done for at least 30 minutes
continuously, in your Target Heart Rate Zone
Cross Country Skiing
Step Aerobics
Roller Blading
Running or Jogging
Power Walking
Anaerobic Activities: typically short, start/stop
The Exercise Program
A good total exercise program has 6 components. Programs should be individualized to meet
your personal needs. Your needs may not be the same as another person due to age, physical
build, physical and medical condition. An exercise program should consist of:
Warm-up and stretching activities (3-4 times per week)
Endurance training (3-5 times per week)
Flexibility training (best when done after endurance training)
Recreational activities (for enjoyment and relaxation)
Resistance training (2-3 days per week)
Cool-down and stretching activities (3-4 times per week)
Target Heart Rate (THR) – This is the training zone you should workout in. It is important to
train in your zone in order to allow for the greatest benefits possible. By training in your zone
you will be able to sustain the workout for a longer period of time.
To find your Target Heart Rate:
Subtract your age from 220 (the average maximum number the heart beats per minute). Subtract
your resting heart rate. Then multiply that answer by 60% and 85% depending on what intensity
of workout you desire. A beginner should use the lower percentage and increase intensity as
their fitness levels increase. Finally add your resting heart rate to determine ranges. For an
example see Training Heart Rate page in the back of this study guide.
Resting Heart Rate (RHR) – the number of times your heart beats in one minute while at rest, a
good indicator of your general fitness level. The best time to find your RHR is before you get
out of bed in the morning. Count your heart rate for 15 seconds and multiply by four or count
your heart rate for an entire minute. The average resting heart rate is between 60 and 80 beats
per minute.
Maximum Heart Rate – the highest heart rate value attainable during an all-out effort to the
point of exhaustion. Subtract your age from 220 to compute your maximum heart rate.
Recovery Heart Rate – recovery heart rate is the heart’s ability to return to a normal heart rate
after exercise. A quick recovery time indicates a high level of fitness.
To take your heart rate either:
1. Place your index and middle fingers on the thumb side of your wrist (radial pulse)
2. Place your fingers gently at the carotid artery on either side of your neck (carotid pulse)
3. Count for 6 seconds and add a zero (multiply by 10).
Related Vocabulary
Blood pressure – the pressure exerted by the blood against the walls of blood vessels. Blood
pressure depends on the strength of the heartbeat, thickness and volume of the blood, the
elasticity of the artery walls, and general health. Sometimes blood pressure is measured for a
quick evaluation of a person's health. Adult blood pressure is considered normal at 120/80
where the first number is the systolic pressure and the second is the diastolic pressure. Keeping
your blood pressure within this normal range will greatly reduce your chances of having a heart
attack or stroke. The American Heart Association recommends having your blood pressure
checked on a regular basis. There are two different measures of blood pressure: systolic (higher
number) and diastolic (lower number)
Systolic blood pressure – the force on your arteries when your heart contracts forcing a
large volume of blood into your arteries.
Diastolic blood pressure – the measure of the force on the arteries when the ventricles
are relaxed and your heart is filling with blood.
Hypertension – high blood pressure, occurs when pressure needed to circulate blood throughout
the body increases above 140/90. High blood pressure generally has no symptoms but has
serious and harmful effects on many organs of the body. It is important to have your blood
pressure checked regularly. Hypertension is dangerous because it causes your heart and arteries
to work harder than normal for a long period of time. This could lead to the heart getting larger.
IF it becomes too large it may not be able to meet the demands of the body which could result in
congestive heart failure. Hypertension also speeds up the process of atherosclerosis (narrowing
of the arteries). Atherosclerosis can cause stroke, heart attack, or kidney failure.
Factors that increase the risk of developing high blood pressure are family history, increases age,
obesity, alcohol consumption, salt sensitivity, and oral contraceptives. To help control blood
pressure you can: eat a balanced diet (avoid excess salt and dietary fats), exercise regularly,
control your weight, don’t smoke, effectively deal with stress, and consume alcohol in
Atherosclerosis –the progressive narrowing of the arteries. When the coronary arteries are
involved, it is termed Coronary artery disease (CHD). Risk factors for CHD include: Cigarette
smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, age and
family history.
Warm-up: a period of mild exercise that increases circulation and gets the body ready for
rigorous exercise, improves joint flexibility and prevents injury. Warm-up time should be about
5-10 minutes.
Pacing – the ability to run an exact time for a specific distance when training for cardiovascular
Recovery time – one must allow recovery days for the body to rebuild itself after intense
Cool-down: a period of gentle exercise that allows for the body to gradually return to normal;
reduces stiffness and muscle soreness due to exercise. Cool-down time should be 10-15 minutes.
Overtraining – the result of excessive training and inadequate recovery. Overtraining causes
long term physical and mental fatigue. The first indication of overtraining is a decline in
physical performance. Other signs of overtraining include: inability to train at levels previously
reached, loss of coordination, increased muscle soreness, increased resting heart rate, insomnia,
loss of appetite, headaches, decreased body fat, and increased susceptibility to illnesses (cold and
flu), depression, apathy, loss of self-esteem, emotional instability, and fear of competition. The
most effective cure for overtrained athletes is rest.
Detraining – Changes the body undergoes in response to a reduction or cessation of regular
physical training.
Equipment, Activity Tips and Safety
Aerobic Machines
Treadmills – the motorized version of walking or running in place. Treadmill workouts burn the
same number of calories as walking or running outdoors. They are the easiest aerobic machines
to use.
Tips for using the Treadmill:
1. Stand up straight and in good posture.
2. Start slowly. Slowly increase the speed, as you warm up and become accustomed to the
3. Use the handrails for balance only. You will move more naturally if you swing your arms.
4. Look straight ahead. Your feet will follow your eyes, so focus on what is in front of you.
5. Never go on the treadmill with bare feet.
6. Gradually reduce your speed. Just as you started slowly, slow down gradually. This gradual
slowdown will be your cool-down.
Stationary Bicycles – these bikes come in two types: upright and recumbent. Upright bikes
simulate a regular bike that you would ride outdoors. Recumbent bikes have a bucket seat so
you pedal out in front of you. Both types work the same. The recumbent bike does offer more
back support and might be more comfortable for people with lower back pain.
Tips for using stationary bicycles:
1. Set the seat eight correctly. Adjust the seat so that when the pedal is at the lowest position,
your leg is almost, but not quite, straight. Your knees should not feel crunched when you are
at the top of the pedal stroke.
2. Set your handlebars correctly. If you are tall or very short, handlebar adjustments are very
3. Pedal from the ball of your foot through your heel as you pump downward on the pedal and
pull up with the top of your foot on the upstroke. Riding a bike with foot straps is more
comfortable and efficient than pedaling without them.
4. Sit upright. Rounding your back can cause back and neck pain.
Stair Climbers – these machines are a big improvement over jogging up and down the
bleachers. The machine eliminates most of the wear and tear on joints.
Tips for using stair climbers:
1. Rest your fingertips lightly on the bar in front of you or on the side rails. Do not grip the
rails tightly. Never reverse your wrists so that your fingertips are pointing toward the ceiling
and your elbows are turned toward the floor. You should only use the rail for balance.
2. Stand upright with a very slight forward lean at the hips. This will help you keep your knees
from locking and protects your lower back from arching.
Rowing Machines – you use these machines by sitting in a seat and pulling the handle toward
you. You slide the seat backwards as you push with your legs.
Tips for using the rowing machines:
1. Think legs, legs, legs. Think about starting the movement with your hips rather than your
lower back. When you are completely extended, your knees will be slightly bent.
2. Keep your back straight. Do not round your back. Do not lean all the way back at the end of
a stroke. You are in the proper position when your upper body is leaning backwards about
45 degrees.
3. Put the handle in a smooth continuous stroke. Try not to stop at the most stretched out and
bent positions.
Aerobic Activities
Walking at a fast pace can be aerobic. It is the easiest and least expensive of all the aerobic
activities. Walking burns fewer calories than jogging or other aerobic activities, but most people
last longer on a walk than on a run. It is recommended individuals walk 10,000 steps per day.
Tips for walking:
1. Walk as fast as you comfortable can.
2. Walk over hilly terrain. You will burn more calories walking up a hill than on flat land.
3. Walk instead of drive. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
4. Use proper form when you walk. Walk erectly with your head and chin up. Focus straight
5. Keep your hands relaxed when you walk. Swing your arms so they brush past your body.
On the upswing, your hands should be level with your breast bone. On the downswing, your
hands should brush against your hips. Keep your hips loose and relaxed.
6. Your feet should land firmly on the ground, your heel landing first. Roll through your heel to
your arch, then to the ball of your foot, and then to the toes. Push off from your toes and the
ball of your foot.
Running is a workout you can do anytime, anywhere.
Tips for running:
1. Wear a food pair of running shoes. The shoe that is best for you depends on your weight, the
shape of your foot, and your running style.
2. Start by alternating periods of walking with periods of running.
3. Keep your head up and focus straight ahead.
4. Keep your shoulders relaxed, your chest open and your abdominal muscles pulled in tight.
5. Keep your arms close to your body rather than flailing them around. Swing your arms
forward and back rather than across your body.
6. Keep your hands open and relaxed.
7. Lift your front knee and extend your back leg. Do not shuffle along like you are wearing
cement boots. Let your feet do the work, not your shoes. Land heel first and roll through the
entire length of your foot. Push off from the balls of your feet instead of running flat footed
and pounding off your heels.
Bicycling and swimming are also great aerobic activities.
Muscular Strength and Endurance
Muscular strength is very important to your overall health and fitness. Adequate levels of
strength are necessary to perform your daily routines at home and work, without excessive
fatigue or stress. Higher levels of muscular fitness also reduce the incidence of lower back pain
and injury to the musculoskeletal system. Strong muscles also assist your cardiovascular system
in sustaining physical activity. Muscular strength is the maximum amount of force that a
muscle can generate in a single effort. Muscular endurance is the ability to efficiently use
muscles over a longer period of time. The ability of a muscle to repeatedly contract or sustain
continuous contraction involving less than maximum force. A well-rounded strength training
program includes at least one exercise for each of the major muscle groups in your body.
Minimally, you should include one core exercise for the lower body and two core exercises for
the upper body. To avoid muscle fatigue, you should arrange your program so that successive
exercises do not involve the same muscle group. This principle may be applied by using the
following order for weight training exercises:
1. Thighs and hips
2. Chest and upper arms
3. Back and thighs
4. Legs and ankles
5. Shoulders and arms
6. Abdomen
7. Forearms
8. Wrists
Benefits of Muscular Strength and Endurance
Increase the BMR/body’s need for energy at rest
Change body composition
Decrease the chances of osteoporosis
Improve balance (especially is elderly), reduce the risk of falls
Increases the chances of coping well with intense physical challenges
Can build a sense of accomplishment and pride
Improved appearance
Ability to do more strenuous work and to do more work over a longer period of time
Strength Training Principles
1. Progression – to steadily improve fitness level you must continually increase the
physical demands to overload their systems.
2. Overload - the practice of continually increasing the stress placed on the muscle as it
becomes capable of producing greater force or has more endurance. To improve strength
level one must do more than what their bodies are used to doing. An individual can
overload in duration, intensity or both. If a person’s body gets stronger and can perform
the same weight, sets, and reps easier, no further gains in strength will occur if the
training stimulus does not increase. A reasonable guide is 2.5% to 5% increases at any
one time.
3. Training to fatigue - in order to make significant gains in strength the muscles have to
go into temporary fatigue at some points during the set. This may occur in the 1RM or in
the last couple of repetitions in a set of 10.
4. Specificity – training your muscles for a particular sport, using muscle actions that are
encountered in that sport. (resistance training should also be performed at the speed
required during the actual sporting event)
5. Periodization – variation in the training volume and intensity, usually a lifting program
that covers 8-12 weeks. During this time vary the weights, sets and reps to achieve a
certain level of performance at the end of the program.
Methods of Strength Training
Isometric or Static Training - the straining of muscles against an immovable force. In this type of
training, there is a very slight shortening of the muscle and there is no movement of the joint, even
though the muscle is still tense.
Isotonic or Dynamic Training - this occurs when, throughout the shortening of muscles, the tension
remains constant and there is movement of the joint involved.
Isokinetics - muscle contraction with variable resistance throughout the entire range of motion
Plyometrics - quick explosive jumps that are done to improve leg power. The muscle is
stretched initially followed by immediate maximum contraction. Plyometric exercises for the
lower body include bounding, hopping, and jumping. Plyometric exercises for the upper body
include catching and throwing medicine balls.
Muscle Contractions
Concentric - Muscles actively shorten (ex. raising weight during a bicep curl, flexion)
Eccentric – Muscles actively lengthen (ex. lowering the weight after a bicep curl, extension)
Isometric – Muscles are active and held at a constant length, they do not shorten or lengthen,
when tension develops in the muscle but no movement occurs (ex. carrying a heavy object in
front of you, your arms are not moving so neither are your muscles; pushing your hands
Muscle Fiber Types
Slow twitch muscle fibers – red muscle fibers that are slow to contract and resistant to fatigue
Fast twitch muscle fibers – white muscle fibers that are quick to contract and fatigue easily
Setting up a weight training program… How much? How many?
1. You must first decide if you want to “tone-up” or “bulk-up” and ultimately whether or not
you want to focus on developing strength or endurance. Toning-up tends to dramatically
increase muscle endurance and bulking-up tends to dramatically increase muscle strength.
“Toning-up” consists of doing a high number of repetitions (15 or more) using
“light” weights for multiple sets (2-4); decrease the weight if you can’t lift the
desired weight 12 times (it’s too heavy).
“Bulking-up” consists of doing a low number of repetitions (8 or less) using
“heavy” weights for multiple sets (3-5); increase the weight if you can lift the
desired weight more than 10 times (it’s too light). It is essential to warm-up by
using lighter weights before attempting to lift a heavy weight.
2. Isolate the muscle or muscle groups that you wish to develop. Put the muscle or muscle
group under stress by lifting the amount of weight that is challenging for you. The basic
“overload” principle of weight training is that a muscle will become stronger if it is put into a
stressful situation. For that reason, one will dramatically increase their results if he or she
goes to failure during the final set of repetitions. It is a myth that girls will look like boys or
get “huge” if they lift heavy weights.
3. It is important to workout specific muscle groups on specific days; doing so will allow one to
exercise more efficiently and effectively during class. Work out every primary muscle group at least
once a week.
4. Load Adjustments: If you can do 2 or more reps over the target number of reps in the last set
in two consecutive workouts, increase the load. Smaller/weaker/less trained athletes should
increase 2.5% for upper body exercises and 5% for lower body exercises. Larger, stronger,
more trained athletes should increase weight by 5% for upper body exercises and 10% for
lower body exercises.
Strength Training Definitions (see Strength Training section for more detail)
Repetition (rep): The act of repeating; doing an exercise multiple times. The number of times
you lift and lower a weight in one set of an exercise. For example, if you lift and lower a
weight five times before putting the weight down, you have completed five reps.
Set: A group of repetitions (lifting and lowering a weight) of an exercise after which you take a
brief rest. For example, if you complete 10 reps, then put the weight down to rest,
complete 10 more reps, put the weight down to rest again, and then do 10 more reps, you
have completed three sets of the exercise.
Strength Training Tips
Keep joint slightly flexed when lifting weights, fully extending your arms and legs.
Locking a joint could lead to serious injury.
Rest for approximately 45-75 seconds between sets when using “light” weights and 2-3
minutes when using “heavy” weights; get a drink of water and/or stretch between sets.
Breathe through your mouth when strength training; exhale when pushing/lifting weights
away from your body and inhale when pulling/ lifting weights toward your body.
After strength training, give fatigued muscles a minimum of 48-72 hours to rest before
strength training those particular muscles again.
Every 4-6 weeks, follow the “opposite” guidelines for at least a week in order to deceive your
muscles. For example, if you are trying to “tone-up” by using lighter weights, use heavier
weights for a week and vice versa.
Do not work out the same muscle groups on consecutive days. Too much strength
training without a significant amount of recovery time can tear the muscles down rather
than build them up.
Related Vocabulary
Osteoporosis – a condition in which bones lose their mineral density and become increasingly
soft and susceptible to injury. You can lower your risk for osteoporosis by taking preventative
steps early in life. Get adequate amounts of calcium, exercise regularly, monitor caffeine intake,
drink alcohol in moderation, don’t smoke, and get plenty of Vitamin D.
Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through a full range of motion. It is important to
general health and physical fitness. Flexibility is reduced when muscles become short and
tightened with disuse causing an increase in injury and strains.
Benefits of Flexibility Exercises
Decrease the chance of injury in activities of daily living/sports
Change body composition
Decrease the chances of osteoporosis
Improve balance (especially in the elderly), reduce the risk of falls
Increases the chances of coping with intense physical challenges
Can build a sense of accomplishment and pride
Guidelines for Stretching
Follow the F.I.T.T. principles in relation to flexibility:
F = Frequency 2 – 3 days per week
Stretch to the point of mild uncomfortableness, to the point where
I = Intensity
you feel the tension but not pain
15 – 30 minutes per day, hold stretch for 20 – 60 seconds
T = Time
Dynamic stretch (prepares body for exercise)
T = Type
Static stretch (done after warmed up)
PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation)
Dynamic stretching should be performed at the start of the workout. Dynamic
stretching prepares the body for exercise.
Static stretching should be performed within 10 minutes after every workout. Static
stretching is done after the body has an opportunity to be properly warmed up. You
should NOT perform static stretches when your muscles are cold.
Move into a stretch slowly, holding it for 20 - 60 seconds and then slowly returning to
the starting position.
Perform 2 – 6 repetitions for each exercise.
Stretch both sides of the body and opposing muscle groups.
Use a variety of stretching modes such as dynamic, static or PNF stretching.
Do not bounce (ballistic stretching) to increase range of motion. It could lead to
Breathe normally as you stretch. With every inhale you should lengthen and with
every exhale you should stretch a little deeper.
Components of the human body involved in overall Flexibility:
 Muscles – body tissue that contracts when stimulated causing movement (strain = injury
to a muscle) 640 in the human body
 Ligaments – attach bone to bone (sprain = injury to ligament)
 Tendons – attach muscle to bone (tendonitis = inflammation of a tendon)
 Joints – 100 in the human body, they connect our bones with muscle
 Bones – 206 in the human body
Types of Stretching
1. Static – stretching a muscle or group of muscles to its farthest point and then holding
that position, you are stationary.
2. Active – assume a position and then hold it there with no assistance other than using the
strength of your agonist muscles (ex. Holding you leg up in the air without your hands)
3. PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) – it is a combination of isometric
and passive stretching.
4. Passive - assume a position and hold it with some other part of your body or with the
assistance of a partner or some other apparatus. You are relaxed and make no
contribution to the range of motion. An external force is applied by something/someone
5. Isometric - a type of static stretching (meaning it does not use motion) which involves
the resistance of muscle groups through isometric contractions (tensing) of the stretched
6. Dynamic – moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach and speed,
controlled body movements that take you to the limits of your range of motion. Do not
confuse dynamic stretching with ballistic stretching.
7. Ballistic – jerky (bouncing) movements that force the body beyond its range of motion,
you do not want to use this type of stretching!
Body composition refers to the chemical make-up of the body. It can be divided into two
groups: lean body mass and fat mass. Lean body mass represents the weight of muscle, bone,
internal organs and connective tissue. Fat mass is the amount of fat tissue stored in the body. It
is essential to maintain some body fat, but an excess level poses a serious health risk. High
levels of body fat are associated with high blood pressure, increased levels of blood fats and
cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. In contrast, very low body fat can
cause the development of such medical conditions as heart damage, gastrointestinal problems,
shrinkage of internal organs, immune system abnormalities, disorders of the reproductive system,
loss of muscle tissue, damage to the nervous system, abnormal growth and even death. Body fat
is expressed as a percentage of total body weight.
Related Vocabulary
Overweight – is a body weight greater than that allowed by a norm table, usually based on age
and height, or height and weight
Underweight – is the body weight less than that allowed by a norm table
Cellulite – is lumpy fat deposits; actually enlarged fat cells resulting from accumulation of body
Essential Fat – the minimal amount of body fat needed for normal physiological functions;
about 3% of total fat in men and 10-12% in women.
Spot reducing – a myth that claims that exercising a specific body part will result in significant
fat reduction in that area.
Purpose and functions of fat
1. Insulates to conserve heat
2. Metabolic fuel for the production of energy
3. Padding to cushion and protect internal organs
4. Normal physiological functioning
It is essential to maintain some body fat, but and excess level poses a serious health risk.
Health Risks pertaining to body fat
Obesity is an excessive accumulation of fat weight. The recently completed National Children
and Youth Fitness Studies report that young people are more obese than ever before. Obesity is
associated with many risk factors of CHD (Coronary Heart Disease), high blood pressure,
increased levels of blood fat and cholesterol, stroke and diabetes. Reversal of these risk factors
can be achieved by reducing an individual’s total body fat. Observing good nutritional principles
relating to lowering personal consumption of saturated fats, sweets and excessive calories are
important lifestyle changes that an individual must make.
Exercise and physical activity can also contribute to achieving optimal body composition. The
adult onset of obesity appears to be strongly related to poor physical activity patterns. Obese
young people tend to be less active than their non-obese peers.
In contrast, it is important to note, very low levels of body fat can cause the development of such
medical conditions as heart damage, gastrointestinal problems, shrinkage of internal organs,
immune system abnormalities, disorders of the reproductive system, loss of muscle tissue,
damage to the nervous system, abnormal growth and even death. A small but significant number
of children also develop eating disorders that lead to extremely low levels of body fat. It is
important for students to adopt healthy behaviors that promote acceptable body composition
early in life.
Recommended % of Body fat
It is recommended that a girl’s body fat fall between 15-25% and a boy’s body fat fall between
10-20%. Boys and girls increase their risk of disease if their body fat is greater than 30%
(females) and 25% (males).
FACT: People who are overweight and go on a crash diet lose nearly ½ the weight in muscle
and water.
FACT: If a person eats just 10 calories above what they need per day, they will gain 1 pound of
fat per year. (1 pound of fat = 3500 calories)
4 Methods of Measuring Body Composition
1. skinfold – calipers measure the thickness of skin folded or pinched at specific landmarks
on the body. The numbers are used in calculations to determine an estimate of
percentage of body fat.
2. bioelectrical impedance machines – measure the percent of body fat by running a lowlevel electrical current through the body. The more resistance encountered the more fat
there is. This method of measuring body fat is less time consuming, safe, and
inexpensive but it is also not as accurate as other methods.
3. hydrostatic weighing – weight in water relative to body volume (most accurate form of
4. body mass index – a chart used to indicate the appropriateness of a student’s weight
relative to their height. BMI recommendations:
31 and up
BMI= [weight in pounds/height in inches²] X 703
*When using BMI as an indicator for obesity it is important to remember muscle mass is
NOT considered in the formula.
Weight Loss
The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. Unfortunately, uninformed
individuals often go about losing weight the wrong way when they intentionally starve themselves in an
effort to lose weight. The best way adequately lose weight (and keep it off) is to adjust your lifestyle by
exercising regularly and eating as healthy as possible. In order to eat as healthy as possible, one must eat
the daily recommended serving of each of the major food groups.
Weight Control
Constant weight control or maintenance is more desirable for adequate health than the sporadic dieting
periods in which considerable weight is swiftly lost, but later regained. It is important to be able to assess
your own activity/weight patterns to allow you to place these in balance.
6 Essential Nutrients
1. Carbohydrates – provide energy for the muscles from starches and sugars in the form of
glycogen. The best source of carbohydrates that are digested quickly come from fruits, milk and
milk products, and vegetables. Stay away from candy, soda beverages, syrups, and table sugar
which provide calories but no vitamins, minerals, and fiber. There are 4 calories per gram of
2. Complex Carbohydrates – contain three or more sugars. Good sources of complex
carbohydrates include legumes, starchy vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals.
3. Fat – Primary source of stored energy that is used in long-term aerobic activity. It also helps
the body to absorb vitamins. There are 9 calories per gram of fat.
Saturated – A fat, most often of animal origin, that is solid at room temperature. An
excess of these fats in the diet is thought to raise the cholesterol level in the bloodstream.
Unsaturated – A fat derived from plant and some animal sources, especially fish that is
liquid at room temperature. Plant sources include avocados, olives, walnuts, and some
vegetable oils. Intake of foods containing more unsaturated fats than saturated fats may
contribute to reduced blood cholesterol levels.
Trans Fats – These are formed during a process called hydrogenation. Trans fats raise
blood cholesterol and can raise the risk of heart disease. May trans fats are found in
processed foods such as margarine and donuts, crackers and fast foods.
Recommendations for fat intake:
 Keep total fat intake between 25-30% of total calories with most fats coming from fish,
nuts, seeds, and oils.
 Read labels and stay away from foods containing the words “hydrogenated” or “partially
hydrogenated” in the ingredient list.
 Limit saturated fat consumption.
 Limit fast food, especially anything that is deep fried.
Recommendations from the American Heart Association.
4. Fiber – the indigestible part of plant foods the body can’t digest. Fiber helps you feel full,
aids in digestion, and helps control your weight. The best sources of fiber are whole grains,
beans, nuts, fruit and vegetables.
5. Proteins – essential for developing new muscle tissue and maintaining existing muscle tissue,
helps control the water level inside and outside the cells. These break down into amino acids.
There are 4 calories per gram of protein. Sources of protein include meat, dairy products, nuts,
certain grains, and beans.
Complete Proteins – proteins that supply the body with all the amino acids it cannot
make on its own. Animal products are complete proteins.
Incomplete Protein – proteins that do not supply the body with all the amino acids it
cannot make on its own. Plant proteins are incomplete and must be combined to make
complete proteins.
6. Minerals – help form structures in the body and regulate body processes Some examples of
minerals are calcium, sodium, potassium, and iron.
7. Vitamins – help to regulate metabolic reactions in the body. The body needs 13 vitamins.
These are: A, D, E, K, C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B-6, B-12, and folate.
8. Water – essential for temperature control, carries nutrients to cells and removes waste from
cells, water makes up 60-70% of the body’s weight. All cells need water to function. Water is
lost through perspiration, urine, breath, and digestion. It is important to replace lost fluids to
avoid dehydration.
Replacing Water Loss – How much?
You may not feel thirsty but you may need more fluids. By the time you feel thirsty, your body
may already be dehydrated. Frequent trips to the bathroom are a sign that you are probably
drinking enough.
The water requirement is the amount necessary to balance losses that can vary markedly. The
National Research Council recommends approximately 1.5 ml of water per calorie of energy
expended. Thus, the average female requires between 10-12 cups. A good rule of thumb is to
drink 8 cups of plain water daily with an additional 3-4 cups consumed in foods and other
beverages such as milk. In addition, the more active you are and the hotter or more humid the
weather, he more water your body requires.
Serving Suggestions
 Water is more palatable at refrigerator temperature and is rapidly assimilated from the
intestinal tract when ingested at this temperature.
 Use a frosty mug and add a slice of lemon or lime.
 Sip with a straw.
 Carry a 32 ounce water bottle in the car…it just takes two!
 Drink one cup in the morning when you brush your teeth, one cup with each meal and
snack and one cup at bedtime.
8 Reasons for Drinking 8 Glasses
Water is an essential nutrient.
Carries nutrients to cells and transports wastes to kidneys and lungs for excretion.
Carries hormones and disease fighting cells through the bloodstream.
Necessary for many chemical reactions of digestion and metabolism.
Assists in temperature regulation; cools through sweat.
Protects and cushions tissues; lubricates joints.
Provides satiety, gives a full feeling.
Assists with constipation relief.
Fluid Replacement Guidelines:
Drink 16-20 oz. of water 1 to 1 1/2 hours before outdoor activity.
Consume 6 to 12 ounces of fluid every 10-15 minutes while exercising outside.
After activity drink 16 to 24 ounces more.
Water is all you need if you are participating in a low or moderate intensity activity such
as walking for 60 minutes or less. If you are participating in a high intensity exercise
outside for 1+ hours, it is sage to add a sports drink containing sodium and potassium to
replace those lost through sweat.
 Urine from a hydrated person should be pale or straw colored.
Related Vocabulary
Metabolism – process that converts the food we eat to glucose which is the primary fuel for
energy. Regular exercise helps maintain a higher level of metabolism resulting in a greater
number of calories burned throughout the day.
Calorie – the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one 1°
Celsius at 15 Celsius. All calories that the body cannot absorb and utilize are stored as excess
calories. Excess calories, regardless of quality, will be converted to body fat or waste products.
Diabetes Mellitus – the pancreas fails to make enough insulin to regulate the amount of glucose
in the blood or when body cells become resistant to insulin. Insulin takes glucose from the blood
and delivers it to the cells. Diabetes is becoming much more common in young adults,
especially those that are overweight. To help prevent diabetes you should: eat a diet rich in
complex carbohydrates, eat fruits and vegetables, avoid alcohol, keep your weight down, and
exercise regularly.
Dehydration – physical condition that results from not having enough water in your body. The
symptoms of dehydration are: thirst, chills, clammy skin, throbbing heart beat, nausea, headache,
cramps, shortness of breath, dizziness, dryness in the mouth.
Hyponatremia – a lower than normal level of sodium in the blood. Too little sodium is related
to problems with fluid balance, blood pressure regulation, and normal nervous system function.
Sometimes called “water intoxication” when related to consumption of excess water during
strenuous exercise without replacement of sodium.
TriFit 600
The TriFit 600 system is the method used to assess, manage data and analyze student’s physical
fitness levels. The following tests are completed on or entered into the TriFit computer:
1. Height
2. Weight
3. Blood pressure
4. Body composition (bioelectrical impedance)
5. Muscular endurance (sit-ups and push-ups)
6. Cardiovascular (mile run, 1.5 mile run, PACER, 12 min. swim)
7. Flexibility (modified sit and reach)
Heart Rate Monitors
Heart rate monitors will be utilized in activity and fitness, students will wear a chest strap
transmitter which will send heart rate information to a wrist watch receiver. Students are required
to have their own elastic strap. These watches can monitor the amount of time a student spends
in a generalized training zone of 140-190 beats per minute (appropriate to high school age
Body Awareness
The value of learning body awareness: To better understand how the body functions so one
can perform physical activities efficiently and in a safe manner.
The three (3) principles of balance state that the body is more stable when:
1. the body’s center of gravity is directly over the base of support.
2. the body’s center of gravity is lower to the ground.
3. the base of support is wider.
Controlling the body in the air:
1. Swing the hands up to the ears – swinging the arms behind the ears will cause the body to
arch and the individual will lose control and most likely fall.
2. Pull the toes slightly forward.
3. Squeeze abdominals, gluteus maximus, and thighs so they are all tight
Landing – When landing, the following body position is most efficient:
1. The feet should be shoulder width apart.
2. The knees should be bent so they are directly over the toes.
3. The shoulders should be directly over the knees.
4. The arms are at shoulder height and pointing outward away from the midline of the body.
When falling forward onto the hands – the hands should be turned inward so thumbs are pointing
towards each other. This will allow the arms to bend upon impact
The importance of the head position:
The body will respond to changes in the head position in the following ways:
1. When the chin is in the chest – the body tends to curl into a ball.
2. When the head is back – the body tends to arch.
3. When the head is turned to the right or left – the body will twist in that direction.
Strongest Body Position
The strongest body position is when the joints (ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders) are aligned.
The abdominals, gluteus maximus, and thighs should be squeezed tightly.
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