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Fitness for Life - FAQs

MIDDLE SCHOOL: I read that the government has rules for how much exercise teens should do. Is this true?

You are correct. Physical activity guidelines (rules) for Americans were published on October 7, 2008. These guidelines were published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The new guidelines are especially important because they are the first guidelines to cover all age groups from children through senior adults. They include guidelines for teens. Fortunately, the authors of Fitness for Life planned ahead, and the information in your textbook is consistent with the new guidelines. So if you use the information in your textbook when you plan an activity program, you will meet the new guidelines for...

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MIDDLE SCHOOL: Is plyometric exercise such as jumping over smaller boxes (roughly 12 inches high) appropriate for middle school children after they have been in PE for 8 weeks or more?

Until the 1990s strength and power training was typically not recommended for youth (children or adolescents) because of fear of injury. Research conducted in recent years indicates that most injuries occur as a result of inappropriate use of equipment and lack of qualified supervision. In 2009 the National Strength and Conditioning Association published a position paper on youth resistance training. The reference to this position paper is at the end of this answer. Plyometrics is one of many types of resistance training. It involves the use of an eccentric muscle action in which the muscle lengthens followed by a concentric...

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MIDDLE SCHOOL: What’s the difference between the test package and the premade quizzes available on the Teacher Web Resource?

In preparing the Teacher Web Resources, the authors wanted to provide teachers with as many assessment options as possible. Constructing tests by using premade quizzes and constructing tests by using the test package each offer advantages. Premade quizzes. A major advantage of premade lesson, chapter, and unit quizzes is that they evenly sample all content to be tested. Because they are already prepared, they can easily be printed or copied and require no extra work on the teacher’s part. Teachers also have several options when using the premade quizzes. It is not expected that all options will be used with all...

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MIDDLE SCHOOL: Why do you recommend 10 to 15 repetitions for muscular strength and 11 to 25 reps for muscular endurance for middle school–aged youth?

The overload principle (described on page 79 of the middle school textbook and on page 93 of the high school textbook) provides the basis for determining the amount of exercise necessary for building muscle fitness. The amount of resistance exercise recommended for building muscle fitness varies depending on age. ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing & Prescription, which provides recommendations for adults, notes that 3 to 6 repetitions of heavy resistance can be used at one extreme, and more repetitions at lighter resistance (8 to 12) can be used at the other extreme (ACSM 2014). The guidelines suggest that to elicit...

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MIDDLE SCHOOL: Why is power now considered a health-related component of fitness?

A 2012 report by the independent Institute of Medicine (IOM) (Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth) provides evidence of the link between power and health. The IOM is a branch of the National Academy of Sciences. A panel of experts was selected by the IOM to review the literature on the relationship between health and the components of physical fitness. The report produced by the IOM committee indicates that power is associated with wellness, higher quality of life, reduced risk of chronic disease and early death, and better bone health. In fact, the association between power (and tests of...

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