April 6, 2011
As popularity of professional athletics continues to grow, so does the circumference of the average Americans waistline. With obesity becoming nothing short of a pandemic the era of exercise has taken a dramatic shift in recent years. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are beginning to address exercise not only as a science but as a form of “preventative care”. What was once thought only to improve ones speed, tackle, or jump shot has now been shown to save ones’ life.
The science of exercise has undergone much construction and reconstruction over the years as new medical discoveries are becoming more and more constant. Through excessive research, physicians are now able to correlate exercise with obesity and other life threatening diseases. They are also able to use and administer exercise to “at risk” individuals as a form of preventative care. In addition to improving and maintaining physical health, exercise has been recently linked with improve mental health. Although the benefits of physical activity have changed and continue to change, the most basic components still remain; cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. Various sports and/or activities may place more emphasis on one over the other; however each contribute to the athletes overall performance. Furthermore, each component makes individualized contributions to an individuals’ health and wellbeing. Understanding each one separately is important for achieving optimal health and fitness.
Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) has gained the most attention by both athletic directors and physicians due to the physiological benefits it provides to the body. CRF, often associated with cardiovascular fitness; refers to the ability of the heart and lungs to deliver oxygen and fuel to working cells for prolonged periods of time (Heart Advisor, 2). Sports that require sufficient use of the bodies Aerobic energy system should focus on improving...