Introduction to Fitness and Wellness Readings

 Purpose

The readings will help you understand the key terms used in this unit and give you a basic introduction to the topics covered.

Directions

  • Read Warm Up and Cool Down (Alic, Margaret. “Warm-Up and Cool Down.” The Gale Encyclopedia of Fitness. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2012. 900-903. Gale Virtual Reference Library.)

Before you start planning your exercise program, it is important to have a better understanding of the acute physiological changes that occur during exercise and how the warm up ad cool down periods can help you transition from rest to exercise and vice versa. All the information contained in this article is important, however, pay special attention to any information that is new to you. For instance, notice how static stretching is not recommended during the warm-up period, but dynamic stretching is a good option (you will learn more about the different types of stretching next week). In addition, note how any type of stretching should only be performed after the muscles have been properly warmed, thus stretching cold muscles is not safe practice. This is usually new information for most students and contrary to popular belief, but it is based on scientific evidence and I encourage you to incorporate this information in your own warm up and cool down plans.

Alternate Reading Links

Prevention of Chronic Disease by Means of Diet and Lifestyle Changes

 Warm Up and Cool Down

Important Information

Since we utilize various open sources for this class, and some of these sources are aimed at the general public, you may notice some inconsistencies in how the terminology is used. For this reason, keep in mind the following definitions as you read the various materials.

  • Health-related components of fitness: components of fitness that are necessary for good health. We will go over each one of these components in detail in the upcoming weeks. They are cardiorespiratory (CR) endurance (also called aerobic endurance), flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and body composition.
    1. CR endurance (aerobic endurance): The ability of the heart, blood vessels, and lungs to work together to accomplish three goals: 1) deliver oxygen to body tissues; 2) deliver nutrients; 3) remove waste products. CR endurance exercises involve large muscle groups in prolonged, dynamic movement (ex. running, swimming, etc)
    2. Flexibility: The ability of moving a joint through the range of motion.
    3. Muscular strength: The ability of muscles to exert maximal effort.
    4. Muscular endurance: The ability of muscles to exert submaximal effort repetitively (contract over and over again or hold a contraction for a long time).
    5. Body composition: The percentage of the body composed of lean tissue (muscle, bone, fluids, etc.) and fat tissue.

There are also other components of fitness related to sports performance rather than just health. They are called skill-related components of fitness or motor fitness and include power, speed, agility, balance, and coordination. For the purpose of this class we will focus mainly on the health-related components of fitness.