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Medicine LibreTexts

10: Physical Fitness

Regular physical activity is good for everyone’s health, and people of all ages and body types can be physically active. Here are just a few benefits of physical activity: (1) Children and adolescents – Physical activity can improve muscular fitness, bone health, and heart health (2) Adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. (3) Older adults – Physical activity can lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like learning and judgment skills).

  • 10.1: Introduction to Nutrition and Physical Fitness
    Physical fitness is a general state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. Physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical exercise, physical activity, and sufficient rest. Before the industrial revolution, fitness was defined as the capacity to carry out the day’s activities without undue fatigue.
  • 10.2: Aerobic Exercise
    Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is physical exercise of low to high intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process. Aerobic literally means "relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen", and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise. Generally, light-to-moderate intensity activities that are sufficiently supported by aerobic metabolism can be performed for extended periods of time.
  • 10.3: Anaerobic Exercise
    Anaerobic exercise is a physical exercise intense enough to cause lactate to form. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass.
  • 10.4: Fitness Supplements and Steroids
    Bodybuilding supplements are dietary supplements specifically marketed to those involved in bodybuilding, weightlifting and athletics. Among the most widely used are vitamins, protein, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), glutamine, essential fatty acids, meal replacement products, creatine, weight loss products and testosterone boosters. Supplements are sold either as single ingredient preparations or in the form of "stacks".
  • 10.5: How do my muscles get the Energy to perform work?
    We need energy to enable growth and repair of tissues, to maintain body temperature and to fuel physical activity. Energy comes from foods rich in carbohydrate, protein and fat.
  • 10.6: Nutrients that are critical to athletes
    Nutrition is an important part of many sports training regimens, being most popular in strength sports (such as weight lifting and bodybuilding) and endurance sports (e.g. cycling, running, swimming, rowing). Sports Nutrition focuses its studies on the type, as well as the quantity of fluid and food taken by an athlete. In addition, it deals with the consumption of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, supplements and organic substances that include carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
  • 10.7: Creating your own fitness plan
    If you’d like to get stronger or faster, lose weight, or just improve the quality of your life, consider creating a personal fitness plan to meet your goals. There are many kinds of possible plans and most incorporate a mix of aerobic, resistance, and flexibility exercises. Assess your level of fitness and craft a plan suited to you