Becoming Physically Fit
** Teens need at least 60 MINUTES of physical activity every day.
Physical activity can be defined as any form of bodily movement that uses up energy. How do we acquire energy?? (Think back to nutrition lessons)
Being active helps you build strong bones and muscles. It also helps you manage your weight. Regular physical activity keeps your blood pressure at a healthy level and strengthens your heart and lungs. When you are active, you have more energy. You are also in less danger of developing certain diseases, both now and later in life.
Physical activity is good for your mental health and emotional health too. It helps you sleep better and concentrate better in school. It can also improve your self-confidence and relieve stress. This can help you get along better with others, which improves your social health. In addition, many physical activities, such as team sports, can be a great way to make friends.
Teens need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, according to the guidelines released by the CDC. However, this doesn't have to mean an hour of activity all at once. What are some things you do to fit in your physical activity?
* You may walk to and from school.
* You may have a variety of chores at home.
* You might also do yard work
* You may ride your bike to a friends house.
MYTH vs. FACT
Myth - The best measure of healthy body composition is your weight on a scale
Fact - Muscle tissue is actually denser than fat. This means that a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. If you lose fat and gain muscle, your weight will actually go up, but you will look smaller. So to tell if your body composition is improving, focus on how you feel in your clothes - not just what the scale reads.
Elements of Physical Fitness
Think about someone who is very strong but cannot walk a mile without becoming tired. Would you consider that person physically fit? Probably you would not. True fitness includes strength (the ability of your muscles to use force). It includes endurance (the ability to perform difficult physical activity without getting overly tired, and flexibility (the ability to move joints fully and easily through a full range of motion). Fitness also means having a healthy body composition, or proportions of fat, bone, muscle, and fluid that make up body weight.
ENDURANCE - Endurance is a measure of how long you can last during physical activity. If you climb several flights of stairs and not feel out of breath, that means you have good heart and lung endurance. Heart and lung endurance is a measure of how efficiently your heart and lungs work when you exercise and how quickly they return to normal when you stop. This kind of endurance is important for many physical activities, such as running, swimming, and playing team sports.If you can run several miles and your legs don't feel tired, you have good muscle endurance, or the ability of a muscle to repeatedly use force over a period of time. Activities that build muscle endurance include jumping rope, dancing, and riding a bike.
STRENGTH - The stronger you are, the more work your muscles will be able to do. Having strong arms and a strong back means that you will be able to move heavy objects more easily. Having strong legs will help you with activities such as running and bicycling. You build muscle strength, or the most weight you can lift, when you make your muscles work against a force, such as gravity. Building muscle strength shapes and tones your body and helps you with activities such as sports.
FLEXIBILITY - Flexibility allows you to turn, bend, and stretch. Being flexible is especially important for gymnasts and dancers. However, it plays a role in other sports as well. Being flexible makes it easier to change directions quickly. This can help you with everything from stopping and turning to throwing a ball. Also, when your muscles can stretch easily, they are less likely to become injured during sports and other activities. You improve your flexibility every time you stretch your muscles and joints (the places where two or more bones meet). Activities that are good for building flexibility include yoga, swimming, dancing, and karate.
BODY COMPOSITION - The last element of fitness is body composition. A healthy body generally has more bone, muscle, and fluid than fat. Body composition is not the same as how much you weigh. Body composition is a measure of how much of your weight is lean tissue instead of body fat. Too much body fat can increase your risk of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Your body composition depends greatly on the genes you inherit from your parents. It also depends on how much you eat and how physically active you are.