HEALTH AND NUTRITION

Common Infections and Fitness Types

Common Infections and Fitness Types

Common infections

There are a number of common infections that can affect sportspeople in particular.

  • Athlete’s foot: this is a fungal infection in which fungus grows between the toes. It’s highly infectious and can be transmitted from the floor or using someone else’s towel. It tends to be itchy and can be easily treated with a cream or powder. Simple ways to protect yourself are to wear flip flops in changing rooms, wash your feet regularly and dry them well, and not to share towels or socks.
  • Verrucae: this infection can be transmitted in the same way as athletes foot (communal changing room floors, sharing towels etc.) They can be treated with over the counter products and a special sock should be worn during the infection. Again, to avoid a verruca wear flip flops in changing rooms, wash your feet regularly and dry them well, and don’t share towels or socks

Fitness Types

  • Health related factors
  • As you can see, keeping fit is good for the overall wellbeing of a person. Taking part in any physical activity involves the development of an individual’s physical and mental capacity in order to meet the demands of performance. There are some forms of fitness, called health related exercises,which focus on particular health factors. For athletes and sports people this is particularly important as they can build up specific parts of the body that they work with for their sport.
  • The main areas include:
    • cardiovascular fitness which aims to increase stamina so that the body can exercise for long periods
    • muscular strength which is aimed at increasing the power of muscle, for example increasing resistance in the arms would help someone with throwing or hitting
    • muscular endurance refers to making the muscles strong enough to endure repeated movements without tiring, for instance with sprinting
    • flexibility refers to increasing the range at which a joint can movement so that people can stretch further for example, as with gymnasts
    • body composition looks at how much fat, muscle and bone the body is made up of, for example rugby players are more successful if they’re heavyweights whereas it’s better for a sprinter to be a lightweight in order to win a race
    • speed refers to how quickly someone can perform a task, cover a distance or move which might be important for getting into a position quickly or move away from opponents

    Skill Related Factors

    Fitness and performance are very important for sport. However, in order to succeed a sportsperson also requires skill. There are a number of factors related to this:

    • agility is to do with how quickly and easily an individual is able to change and control their body position, for example in order to avoid an opponent
    • balance is the ability to keep the centre of mass above the base of support while stationary, which is known as static balance, or while moving, which is called dynamic balance
    • co-ordination is being able to use more than one body part simultaneously and helps an individual to move quickly and smoothly, for example with games like tennis or football
    • power is where an individual is able to use strength quickly, for instance when an athlete needs to throw a discus far, jump a long distance or sprint at a fast speed
    • reaction time refers to the amount of time between a stimulus being presented and the reactive movement taking place, for example starting a race as soon as the starter pistol has sounded