Physiological Elements of Fitness

Physiological Elements of Fitness

Cardiac output, pulmonary ventilation, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide output and heart rate during and after exercise are so closely interrelated in an individual performing a standard bout of work that fairly accurate estimates of all other factors can be made from the measured value or a single factor. Post-exercise heart rate is frequently used because of the ease and convenience of its measurement.

The exercises employed in physical fitness tests place the systems of the body (particularly the cardiovascular system) under stress. Running on a treadmill, pedalling a stationary bicycle and stepping up onto a stool are frequently used because they involve large muscle groups in fairly heavy work but do not demand unusual skills.

Performance is measured by the maximal duration of the effort or by the maximal amount of work accomplished. Physiological effect is estimated from the magnitude of the heart rate changes during exercise and from the rapidity of return of the heart rate to normal following the exercise.

There is a voluminous literature on physical fitness tests and testing. The reader is referred to an excellent review and to articles dealing with applications to industry, to physical education and to medicine.

A test of physical fitness for strenuous exertion has been used successfully to detect alterations in physical condition in subjects on reduced calorie intake and with restricted vitamin B complex in the diet. A modification of the test has been used to evaluate the results of programs of physical training.

The test may be administered periodically to determine whether tim the optimal amount of training is being given, to segregate students into classes so that work will not be too hard for some and too easy for others, and to determine when a student has improved enough to be shifted to another class in which he will receive optimal training. Further modifications of the fitness test have been used in programs of rehabilitation and convalescence and in a study of neuro-circulatory asthenia.

Related Link: Health, Fitness and Training

The anytime, anywhere workout

The anytime, anywhere workout

Seventeen Magazine beauty editor, Annmarie lverson, reveals her own very personal fitness routine-one that you can do when and where you like.

1. Warm Up

Okay, I admit it. I do work out almost everyday. And no, I’m not crazy. I’m just really interested in feeling distressed and looking streamlined in my clothes. But I also have to admit I wasn’t always a jock.

In high school (in Wisconsin, where I’m from) I never had the nerve to try out for volleyball or cheerleading. College at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee was the same story-no intramural sports, no rahrah activities. But in freshman-required PE, I discovered that being in shape didn’t depend on making the team, scoring big points, or showing up for practices.

Instead, the instructor showed me how to become my own personal trainer and create my own routine. How easy is it? You just do an aerobic activity to get your heart going and calisthenics to tone and shape your entire body. You can do it alone, or with a friend. So here’s the workout that works for me… where I want, when I want.

You have to ease your body into a workout. All it takes is TEN MINUTES of nonstop brisk walking, easy jogging, or cycling. Your PORTABLEGYM should include a Jump rope, resistance bands, weights (one to three pounds) and sport shoes.

2. Stretch

Go directly from the warm-up to stretches while your muscles are still warm and you have a maximum range of motion.

1 Sit on ground with legs spread to sides. “Walk” hands out from body as far as is comfortable. (If you exercise with a friend, you can ease each other into a stretch by putting your feet together and clasping hands.)

2 While still sitting, place soles of feet together. Grasp ankles with hands, and use elbows to push knees toward ground. Don’t bounce-just press up and down gently.

3 While standing, wrap a band (or a towel) across up per back, and pull while TWISTING torso from left to right until movement feels easy.

4 Slide band up, behind shoulders, and pull shoulders from side to side.

3. Aerobic

This is the key calorie-burning, fattrimming part of the workout. The trick is to get your heart rate up to an aerobic level for about twenty minutes. Do this with one activity (like running, cycling, or swimming) or do a COMBINATION of two or more activities.

1 Jump back and forth over a friend or a small table. Jumping in the air exerts an amazing amount of ENERGY and sends the heart rate up-just be sure to keep up the pace.

2 When you jump rope, keep feet together and shoulders relaxed. Jump just high enough to clear the rope.

Related Link: Beauty, Health, Fitness & Family

Tennis: A Viewpoint on the Game

Tennis: A Viewpoint on the Game

Tennis is a game rich in tradition, personalities, exciting events and even controversy. To attempt to reach back and try to capture all — or at least most of this — and put it inside the covers of a single book is a monumental endeavor. I must congratulate Grimsley on his enterprise and his bravery.

This must be the most comprehensive and ambitious volume written on the sport. Library shelves are loaded with excellent books dealing with every phase of the game but I know of none that has tried to explore the broad reaches from the first primitive bats and balls right up to open competition, with all that has happened between.

It was just a half century ago that I lifted a tennis racquet for the first time and, with dire results, hit my first tennis ball. There was something about the delightful sound of ball on gut, even if slightly marred by the jingle of glass from the broken window, that entered my soul with a never-to-be-forgotten thrill. It was a new emotion to my six years, but one that now, at fifty-six, still carries the thrill-even if not the broken glass. I can, at least, hit the ball in the court most of the time.

Tennis: A Viewpoint on the Game

I urge you-play tennis! Tennis is the most valuable sport that any individual can learn, even more so than golf. It is the most universally played of all athletics, and its rules are the same the world over. A good game of tennis is the open-sesame on every continent and in almost every nation. Language is no barrier to tennis players, since whether a ball is out or in can be seen and understood without spoken words. Individual sport is always more valuable than team sport in adult life, since team sport requires too much effort to organize in the press of the business world.

Related Link: All About Tennis

Tennis: Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Tennis: Keep Your Eye on the Ball

We are now ready to take up the specific fundamentals of the game, and the first definite one in tennis is the foundation of all games played with a moving object: Keep your eye on the ball!

I am certain that in every hour I work with a beginner in the game, I repeat this instruction at least thirty times in some form. When I say, “Keep your eye on the ball,” I mean watch that ball from the time you first start to toss it to serve until the end of the point, and never look at anything else.

Naturally, the pupil decides this is exaggeration, that I am overdoing it. Let me assure you I am not. The pupil always wants to know how he can tell where to hit a ball if he doesn’t look over to see. He doesn’t need to watch the court. He took a look at it when he went out on it. It is stationary. It isn’t going to move off or change its dimensions. The lines are permanent. He knows that the net is in the middle and stands three feet high in the centre and three feet, six inches, at the posts, and will not change height during play. The lines, backstops, and sidestops are also fixed in position. They, too, will remain there.

Tennis: Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Usually you can convince the pupil he need not watch the court or net quite easily, but his next hurdle is far more dillicult. “How about that guy I am playing?” he blurts out.

“How can I tell where he is if I don’t watch him?” A reasonable query, certainly, but the answers to it are easy and should satisfy anyone.

First of all you must remember that you are not trying to hit your opponent but to miss him. You are attempting to put the ball where he isn’t-not where he is.

“Ah, but I have to see him to know where he is!” cries the pupil. Not at all. If he is a good tennis player, you know where he is without having to see him, because a good tennis player will be in correct position. Correct position for a back-court player is about on the backline of the court and near the middle of it. If you are facing a net player, his correct position would be about eight feet back on his side of the net, and at a point that would be about two feet toward the centre of the court from a straight line drawn parallel to the sidelines from where you hit the ball down through his court.

So, if he is a good tennis player you know where he is without having to see him, and if he isn’t a good tennis player it doesn’t make much difference. where he is! After all, the thing you are attempting to hit is a moving ball, which requires the eye to change focus as that ball moves. Obviously, if the eye once Ioses sight of the ball, it is almost impossible to sight it again clearly in time to hit it cleanly.

Related Link: All About Tennis

Muhammad Ali remains a legend at 70

Muhammad Ali remains a legend at 70

The towering figure of the champ has come to mean different things to different people.

Muhammad Ali will be 70 on Tuesday, but he remains, as singer Bob Dylan crooned in his classic 1974 hit, forever young. The former heavyweight champion is still one of the most revered figures on Earth, inspiring passionate feelings more than 30 years after his final bout, more than 50 years since he won an Olympic gold medal.

His voice, once so resonant, so vibrant, is largely muted now, silenced by the effects of Parkinson’s disease. His days are spent mostly in a chair, his once-dazzling smile just a memory.

The hands that were so blazingly fast, the feet which were so nimble, now betray him. He moves slowly, the tremors making it difficult for him to perform simple acts.

And yet, he remains a hero to many, still an inspirational icon despite his physical decline.

“When I think of him, I think of the verse from scripture, from Genesis, which said, ‘There were giants in the land,’ ” said former heavyweight champion George Foreman, who last week turned 63. “In the Sixties, we had giants in the land, but most of them are gone. The Kennedy brothers, they passed away; Martin Luther King … There is no proof now that there were giants in the land, because they are all dead. Muhammad Ali is the proof that once there were giants in the land.”

Ali means different things to different people, though he’s a towering figure to nearly all.

[Photos: Muhammad Ali through the years]

Author Thomas Hauser, who wrote Ali’s 1992 biography, “Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times,” had long been fascinated by Ali. After working out a deal with Ali to secure his full cooperation on the project, Hauser spent many hours with Ali and his wife while researching the book.

Veteran trainer Dick Sadler told Hauser a story of the time an 18-year-old Ali, full of energy, spent most of a long train ride singing the hit ’60s song by Chubby Checker, “The Twist.”

“I rode with [Cassius] Clay from the West Coast down to Texas, where Archie [Moore] had this fight against Buddy Thurman,” Hauser quoted Sadler in his book. “We went by train and it was a pretty wild ride. First, the kid would be standing, shouting out of the carriage, ‘I am the greatest. I am the greatest.’ He’d shout this at the passing cars and sheeps and fields and stuff. After a while, he started singing this number by Chubby Checker about ‘The Twist.’

“He didn’t know the words. He just kept on singing and singing, ‘Come on, baby. Let’s do the twist. Come on, baby. Let’s do the twist. Come on, baby. Let’s do the twist.’ It got to me. It was driving me crazy, to tell you the truth. I said, ‘Jesus, son. You’ve been twisting all across California and Arizona.’ By the time we got to New Mexico, I told him, ‘Look: Sing the Charleston or the Bugaloo. Any damn thing, but get off the Twist.’ Seven hundred miles of twisting, twisting and ‘I am the greatest.’ It drove me crazy.”