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Fitness for Life - FAQs

GENERAL: If you want to play sports, is it better to specialize in one sport or learn to do several sports?

That's a very good question, but it's also a hard one to answer. A lot depends on your personal goals and personal abilities. Because we are most interested in the fitness, health, and wellness of teens, we encourage participation in a variety of activities from the Physical Activity Pyramid, not just one sport. Each of the five types of activities from the first three levels of the physical activity pyramid has different benefits, so performing a variety of activities will provide you with a variety of benefits in fitness, health, and wellness. Also, people who learn a variety of activities...

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GENERAL: In my school, we have 45 minutes of physical exercise per week. In your opinion, would an increase to 45 minutes per day in physical activity positively affect the students' ability to concentrate? Why or why not?

The authors do think that 45 minutes a day would positively affect students’ ability to concentrate and perform well on tests and in academic studies. The research supports my point of view. Taking 30 to 45 minutes a day for physical education is positively related to academic performance, and the time taken does not detract from performance. In addition, the time in physical education can enhance health and fitness and help students maintain a healthy body weight.

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GENERAL: Is it possible to be physically fit and still have too much body fat?

Yes, it is possible to have good physical fitness and still have too much body fat. But before we more fully answer the question, we want to say that it is best to be fit and to have a healthy level of body fat. As you learned earlier, there are many kinds of health-related physical fitness: body composition (also known as body fatness), cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility, muscular endurance, and strength. All parts of fitness relate to each other, but each is also somewhat separate from all others. So you can have good cardiorespiratory fitness and still have more body fat...

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GENERAL: Is participation in many sports healthy?

National physical activity guidelines for children and teens recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Guidelines from SHAPE America indicate that several hours of appropriate activity can be beneficial to fitness and health. So being involved in several sports can be beneficial. Learning skills in one sport can transfer to other sports and make them easier to learn. For example, learning how to serve a tennis ball can help you learn how to spike or serve a volleyball. Also, learning many sports can be useful later in life because people who have skills in...

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GENERAL: Is the BMI (body mass index) a good indicator of body composition and body fatness?

The body mass index (BMI) uses a formula that includes height and weight. It is often used in research because it requires measurements that are easy to get (height and weight). Because it is easy to measure and does not require a lot of equipment, BMI can be easily assessed for large numbers of people. Still, the BMI has its limitations as a method of assessing body composition and body fatness. Both the BMI and height–weight charts have the problem of classifying some muscular people as overweight when they really are not. This is because people who have a lot...

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