The benefits of developing our physical abilities: Although the basic physical abilities of a person are determined genetically and are different for each person, it is always possible to increase the level through training and physical preparation. The development of our abilities not only allows us to get better results from our physical activities, it also, and more importantly, improves the response of our body to illness. Also, in a well-trained, fit body you can detect possible health problems early on.
-Flexibility: allows for maximum movement of our joints thanks to the elasticity and the ability to stretch of our muscles. We would be able to deflect a deficiency or health problem if our joints were rigid or if we had difficulty or experience pain when moving them. -Strength: In our bodies it means that by applying the strength of our muscles, we are able to resist a force. Health problems usually create a partial or total loss of this ability to apply strength. –Endurance: is the ability if some groups of muscles to make an effort for a prolonged period. When we lose our health, we get tired more quickly or we are unable to do some activities that require endurance. –Speed: In our bodies we define it as the ability to do one or various actions at the same time with different parts of the body or as the ability to cover a certain distance in a specified time. When we have health problems, we may detect a loss of speed when moving or an increase in the time needed to cover the distances. –Coordination of our physical skills: is our ability to do different things that depend on each other at the same time. Because many different abilities are involved, our coordination is affected by health problems early on, especially when we need to synchronise movements, to point the body or limbs in a certain direction, to balance, to keep in time and to react quickly.
Training Programs: These programs have been designed for sports people ant they take years of practice. However, it is good to know about them and apply them so that, in the future, if we want to stay fit, we know how to use these basic tools to improve endurance and avoid a bad use of physical exercise. The most popular training programs are the following: -> Continuous systems: they consists of doing exercises at a constant speed but for a variable length of time and intensity. These are the most notable: -continued running. You must run at constant but moderate speed for an established length of time, for a certain number of kilometers. –Fartlek training. This type of running consists of alternating different intensities, distances, frequencies and lengths of step in order to vary the rhythm of the effort you are making. ->Split systems: the training is divided into various parts, interspersed with rests. One of them is interval training, which involves alternating running and resting. ->Mixed systems: These are mix of the two previous systems: -Circuit training. This consists of each participant doing a certain number of exercises (from 8 to 10) at each station. The exercises are easy and varied. They focus on the large muscle masses and are repeated a certain number of times. There is a 20-30 s recuperation period between each exercise and a 3-5 minute rest between series. Gradually, you increase the time spent in each station and the number of times you repeat each circuit. The exercises should get more intense and the recuperation time between exercises and the circuits should gradually decrease. –Total training. This is a culmination of continued running, changes of rhythm, slopes, games and gymnastic exercises which work on basic abilities. You use natural materials such as tree trunks or stones.
Factors that determine our flexibility: is the ability that our muscles have to stretch when we move a joint. This ability can be limited or lost due to structural causes, to illness and muscular injuries. Also, old age and sedentary lifestyle tend to reduce the mobility of our joints, which can affect our quality of life. Each joint has a specific level of flexibility which depends on the age, gender and level of training. It is greater in the early stages of life, in women and in people with specific training. How to maintain flexibility: To maintain a good level of flexibility, we should observe the following rules and normal practices: -Whenever possible, we should do specific stretches to maintain complete mobility in each joint. –With stretching exercises, we are trying to relax the large muscle groups so that they can be stretched to their maximum point. –We should do stretching exercises at least two or three times a week. – We must do them properly: gently and without hurrying, avoiding brusque or fast movements as these can cause injuries. –We can include them in our personal warm-up as a separate part or even make them into a separate exercise session. The benefits of stretching regularly: -It prevents injuries because it improves the coordination between different muscle groups and the structures that participate in each movement. –It reduces tiredness and the typical aches you get from training or doing physical activities. –It helps the muscles and joints to relax and it promotes the return to normal muscle tone after the tension and stress produced by p.A. –It improves the quality of the exercises related to each of the joints.