PHYSICAL CONDITION 1.PHYSICAL CAPACITIES

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1 PHYSICAL CONDITION 1.PHYSICAL CAPACITIES Our body works like a machine and can adapt itself to many different situations. To keep our body fit and in good working order, we have to practice physical activities or sports often, so we can strengthen our muscles, build up our stamina or endurance and become more flexible. This way, we maintain and develop all our physical capacities. There are a set of elements that allow us to know the level of physical fitness of a person. One or more of these elements are necessary to perform any activity. They are: Stamina or endurance: Stamina, strength, speed and flexibility It is the capacity that allows us to maintain an effort for a relatively long time. It is also related to the capacity of recovering after an effort. Types of stamina: During Aerobic activity, your heart and lungs give your muscles plenty of oxygen and you can do exercise for long periods of time at a medium intensity. (marathon, cycling...) During Anaerobic activity, your muscles don t have enough oxygen. These exercises are shorter but have a very high intensity (100m sprint, a basketball attack). With anaerobic stamina, you can do these exercises faster and get tired later. Strength It is the ability to exert a force against a resistance made by a muscle or a group of muscles, it allows us to move or raise heavy things. Types of strength Maximum strength: to lift very high weights: the best example are Olympic weightlifters. Explosive strength: to do a movement as fast as we can, moving a small weight (javelin throwers, for example) Resistance-Strength: to do exercises with medium weights for a long time (in judo, combats last 4 minutes; rowers must move the boat for a long time also) Flexibility It is the ability to achieve an extended range of motion without damage, thanks to joint mobility and elasticity of the tissues.

2 Types of flexibility: Dynamic Flexibility: you use it when you do wide, ample and relaxed movements. Static Flexibility: you use it when you hold one position for some seconds. There is no movement. Speed It is the capacity of performing a movement or covering a distance as fast as possible. There are several types of speed: Reaction speed: how quickly a person can respond to an external stimulus: tactile, visual or auditory (exit in a race responding to the starting pistol). Displacement speed: the ability to cover a certain distance as fast as possible. (How fast the runner can run, or the swimmer can swim) Movement speed: is how quickly a person can carry out a movement or perform a skill (tennis serve, kicking a ball, batting a baseball) As a person grows up, these elements develop, and one becomes stronger, faster and has more stamina. Besides, if you practice physical activities or sports often, these elements will develop even more, and will benefit your performance as well as your everyday life. 2. BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help: - Control Your Weight. Both diet and physical activity play a critical role in controlling your weight. You gain weight when the calories you burn, including those burned during physical activity, are less than the calories you eat or drink. When it comes to weight management, people vary greatly in how much physical activity they need. You may need to be more active than others to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. To lose weight and keep it off you will need a high amount of physical activity unless you also adjust your diet and reduce the amount of calories you're eating and drinking. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight requires both regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan. - Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death. But getting at least 150 minutes a week (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity can put you at a lower risk for these diseases. You can reduce your risk even further with more physical activity. Regular 2

3 physical activity can also lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels. - Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. - Reduce Your Risk of Some Cancers. - Strengthen Your Bones and Muscles. - Improve Your Mental Health and Mood. Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can give you these mental health benefits. Some scientific evidence has also shown that even lower levels of physical activity can be beneficial. 3. WARM-UP AND COOL DOWN At school, warm-up is the group of activities carried out at the beginning of a lesson which ready the body for more demanding efforts. It has the goal of activating every functional system in order to avoid injuries and achieve a better performance. The two main functions of warm-up are: - Preparing physically, physiologically and psychologically the athlete/student for an effort. - Avoid risk of injuries. More specifically, warm-up has an effect on the following four systems: - Respiratory system. - Cardiovascular system. - Locomotor system. - Nervous system. The length of the warm-up depends on its function. A warm-up for High-level athletes is really intense and lasts 30 or 45 minutes, while at school it has only a moderate intensity lasting 10. The parts of a general warm-up are: - Joint mobility. (ankles, knees, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck) - Flexibility. (calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, chest, deltoids, triceps and biceps) - Activation exercises. For this part you can use jogging or games. 3

4 What is the right warm-up intensity for me? Your heart rate is an indicator of the intensity level. The right one will make your HR range from 100 bpm at the beginning, finishing between bpm after more strenuous exercises. Intensity must increase gradually and we should never exceed 70% of our maximum HR (HRmax = 220 age), so that a person who is 13 years old ( = 207 bpm, 70% of 207 is 145) should not exceed 145 bpm during warm-up. To feel your pulse, you have to place your index and middle finger on the carotid or radial artery and count every beat for 30 and double the result or counting for 1. Cool down can be defined as the set of gentle activities performed after finishing exercising to help restore the conditions we have at rest in our body, helping to create an overall recovery. It also prevents from injuries and allows a mental and physical relaxation. Its duration oscillates between 5 to BODY MUSCLES The muscles are the organs responsible for the movements of the body. They allow the skeleton to move and, at the same time, maintain its stability both in motion and in repose. In addition, the muscles in conjunction with the bones form the external appearance of the human body. Here there are the main functions: The main body muscles - They produce movement. - Joint stability - Body postural control - Protection. - Information about the physiological state of the body. - Contribution of heat. 4

5 5. HYGIENE Have you ever wonder why teachers insist that you should clean yourself after sweating? The answer is that among the secretions of the skin (sweat and fat) is trapped dust and dirt, whose accumulation is an excellent breeding ground for the proliferation of microorganisms that, in addition to odor, produce infections (eruptions, pimples, irritation, etc.). Therefore, we must follow a series of hygiene recommendations: - A shower is needed after each exercise session. If you can t shower, as after a PE class, we should at least change our sweated clothes for a dry one and wash the areas that tend accumulate bad odor (armpit and feet, especially). - The foot hygiene includes scrupulous and thorough drying, to prevent bacterial and fungal infections which are very contagious. - Wash your hands frequently. - Dental Hygiene, held after every meal. 6. POSTURAL HYGIENE Some of the rules that we must follow to avoid injuries and pains in certain parts of our body are the following: We must always keep your back as straight as possible. We must avoid the twists of the spine and bend laterally. We must strengthen the muscles that keep the spine straight (core muscles). These muscles are the abdominal and thoracic and lumbar muscles. 5

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