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Health-Related Fitness

If you specifically focus on the above body systems when you choose different activities and exercises, you can enable those systems to adapt and thus increase their ability to function more efficiently. By choosing an activity/exercise to specifically focus on these systems, you would be performing health-related fitness training.

Physiological changes within the body take place when you start to exercise to allow your body to cope with the increased intensity being placed on it at the time. These are known as “short term” adaptations.

The most noticeable changes are:

  • Increased breathing rate
  • Increased body temperature

These return to normal once you reduce your intensity and once your physical exercise/activity session has ended. The “long- term” adaptations to your body occur over time and you should notice some physiological, psychological, health-related and social changes in everyday life.

  • The exercise/activity feels easier
  • You are less out of breath or fatigued
  • Recovery between exercises or sessions is faster
  • Range of movement has increased (flexibility)
  • Strength and stamina have improved
  • Agility and posture have improved
  • Your posture has improved
  • Body fat has reduced
  • Muscle tone/size has increased
  • You may have lost inches around your waist, hips and thighs

Below are some long – term physiological changes to body systems from participating in regular physical activity and exercise.

Changes to body systems from participating in regular physical activity and exercise

Table 14 Changes to body systems from participating in regular physical activity and exercise