Other outcomes also showed improvement in the direction of fitness. Based on these findings, it was concluded that exercise counseling given as part of a walking program improves at least some body composition indices that can be sustained over the entire period of monitoring. Interestingly, it was also found that the program increased psychological measures of well-being. The fastest way to improve body composition is, however, through the use of multiple strategies such as healthy nutrition, cardiovascular exercise and strength training.
Flexibility is the last key component of physical fitness. Ingraham (2003) defines flexibility as the range of motion around a joint and notes that good flexibility can prevent injuries in every stage of life. Moreover, it allows greater freedom of movement, more effective task performance, increased balanced and coordination, decreased risk of lower back pain, increased relaxation; flexibility also decreases recovery time from injuries (Neave, 2005).
Several methods and techniques can be used to increase flexibility. Some of these are listed by Neave (2005) as follows: (1) Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) which consists of contract-relax type stretching; (2) Static Stretching; (3) Strength Training; (4) Isometric Stretching; (5) Forced Relaxation; (6) Yoga; and (7) Ballistic Stretching which consists of bouncing up and down.
The foregoing information on improving physical fitness will work with both adults and children. However, it is primarily aimed at improving the fitness of adults. With children and adolescents, improving physical fitness is focused on some additional variables beyond the physical techniques and methods. The next section of this review of the literature examines ways to improve the physical fitness of children and adolescents.
Methods, Strategies, and Techniques for Improving Physical Fitness in Children and Adolescents
Pica (2005) notes that in toda...
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