Health, Exercise and Fitness

Health Related Fitness and their Components

  • Health is defined as "a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, free from mental and physical disease".
  • Fitness can mean a variety of things, it has been defined as "the ability to carry out our daily tasks without undue fatigue" or "the successful adaptation to the stressors of one's lifestyle". It is also highly specific.
  • The difference between health related fitness and skill related fitness is that HRF is anatomically and physiologically based and SRF consists of neuromuscular components of fitness which are skill related.
  • HRF: STAMINA- the ability to provide and sustain vigorous total body activity aerobically.
  • MUSCULAR ENDURANCE- the ability of a muscle of muscle groups to sustain repeated contractions over time sufficient enough to cause muscular fatigue.
  • STRENGTH- the maximum force exerted by a specific muscles or group during a singe maximal contraction.
  • SPEED- the maximum rate at which a person is able to move their body.
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  • POWER- the ability to use strength quickly, strength x speed.
  • FLEXIBILITY- the ability to move a joint through its complete range of movement.
  • BODY COMPOSITION- can asses the persons state of fitness, it is the relative percentage of muscle, fat and bone.
  • SRF: REACTION TIME- the time taken to initiate a response to a given stimulus.
  • AGILITY- the physical ability that enables a person to quickly change body position in a precise manner.
  • CO-ORDINATION- the ability to perform smooth and accurate motor tasks, often involving the use of senses.
  • BALANCE- the ability to retain the centre of mass of a sportsperson's body above the base of support.
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Effects of lifestyle choices on health and fitness

Lifestyle Choices

  • Lifestyle choices include stress, diet, exercise, alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking. These choices all have negative impacts on health and fitness, but can also have some positive effects.
  • SMOKING- increased risk of lung cancer, reduced lung surface area for intake of oxygen, tar deposits in the alveoli, tired and out of breath during exercise and reduced oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells.
  • RECREATIONAL DRUGS- these drugs include ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine. They harm essential organs, destroy family and social life, can lead to extreme criminal behaviour and destroy self-esteem through reliance on drugs.
  • ALCOHOL- it is not illegal to drink alcohol as we all know, however too much of it on a regular basis has a negative effect on your body. Heavy drinking can lead to a damaged liver, stomach cancer, lung cancer, muscle pain and even erectile dysfunction.
  • The effects of these three lifestyle choices severely limit healthy lifestyle choices.
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Effects of lifestyle choices on health and fitness

Lifestyle Choices

  • A balanced DIET is needed if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being overweight is a body weight that exceeds the norm for that type of person.
  • Obesity however is different, it is "a surplus of adipose tissue resulting from excessive energy intake relative to energy expenditure". Energy intake is far greater than energy output. Health problems as a result include arthritis, heart and vascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
  • STRESS can be psychological, physiological or behavioural. The stressors can be physical, emotional or social. However, eustress can be positive leading to enjoyment in sport. Distress on the other hand can have a negative effect on health and fitness.
  • To manage stress we can rest in a quiet place, reduce breathing rate, identify the stressors and take action and finally keep the body physically fit.

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Effects of Exercise on Health

Positive Effects of Exercise

  • Exercise can have positive impacts on the body. Firstly, it can help the cardiovascular system through increasing high density lipoproteins and decreasing low density lipoproteins. It also slows down slow degenerative diseases.
  • It improves the aerobic capacity in the respiratory system.
  • It reduces obesity hence improving body composition, by burning off excess fat during exercise, therefore the capability to complete exercise and daily routines becomes easier.
  • It helps sustain strength and co-ordination levels, also improving flexibility. This is all part of the neuromuscular system.
  • Finally, it has a positive impact psychologically. It improves self esteem, as well as benefiting social skills. It enables a positive attitude to work through a sense of well being after exercise.
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A Balanced Diet

  • A balanced diet should consist of the following: vitamins, minerals, fibre, water, carbohydrate, fat and protein.
  • This balanced diet however, varies if you are an elite performer in different sports. It depends on the intensity and duration of the exercise.
  • Glycogen is the most important source of fuel during any exercise. Therefore, for any elite sportsman a high carbohydrate diet is essential. Post exercise, a sports type carbohydrate supplement like "Lucozade". For rapid CHO replenishment after exercise foods like bananas or raisins are ideal for increasing blood glucose concentrations.
  • Carbo-loading is a process where extra carbohydrate is taken in after a short perod of carbohydrate starvation. This technique also requires extra fluid intake and is often used by marathon runners on the eve before a marathon.
  • Fat intake should be restricted by endurance and power athletes as muscles tissue is more powerful than fat tissue. Sumo wrestlers may have a higher percentage of dietary fat.
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Nutrition Continued

  • Protein requirements vary from endurance athletes and power athletes, power athletes have to have additional protein because of muscle hypertrophy.
  • Vitamins and minerals which should be taken increasingly if a performer does regular, intense exercise. Glutamine is a supplement taken to prevent infection. Intense exercise stresses the muscular system, which then needs the glutamine to act as the amino acid.
  • Creatine increases muscle creatine levels and so increases performance in anaerobic sports.
  • Most elite performers take nutritional supplements such as amino acids and CHO supplementation. Exercise is also extremely thirsty work and more fluid needs to be taken on. In longer and more intense periods of exercise more fluid needs to be taken on before, during and after exercise.
  • When attempting to lose weight a weight loss plan needs to be specific, personal, realistic, measurable and can consist of a food diary and activity log.
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