“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” This quote was referenced to no other than a well known and recognized historical figure from classic Greece, Hippocrates of Kos. He was a Greek physician who lived from 460 to 370 B.C. It might  be considered one of the earliest references to what we call exercise science today.

Exercise science is a theory-based, research-led discipline that aims to understand the interaction of multiple fields as kinesiology, biological science and physiology. Often exercise science will be involved in fields of pedagogics in order to design teaching/learning processes which will have efects on fitness, performance, health and behaviors.
Many things have changed since the old greek civilization, however our physiological response to exercise not so much. Luckily, for our advantage, all these fields of knowledge have been put into work. With quite good success, the effort of research and curiosity of understanding has brought over time detailed content about exercise science in humans.

It seems that once upon a time, exercise was a valuable factor, recognized for whom who has been considered the “Father of Medicine”. Making a giant leap in history forwarding to this present time despite so much knowledge, understanding and awareness of our civilization, currently exercise seem to have a question mark. Even sometimes relegated to a second plan.

We live to do what keeps us alive. An ideal that lots of individuals, people, communities and societies live as part of their life. The inclusion on this matter has no chronological age. Meanwhile biological age might set and predispose characteristics based on multiple factors, however in most of us, decision making to self-wellbeing is in one inherent freedom. From climbing the Aconcagua, to ride the whitewater’s of Futaleufú, running through the Alps, lifting the heaviest object, learning new skills, hike with family and friends, keep up with your niece in the park or as simple as carry the groceries home. All of them have 2 major common points: (1) movement and (2) function.

What is this all about and what do I need to know?

As a matter of fact, for whatever it is you do, live for or you like, any contribution made to maintain or progress what keeps you alive deserve recognition, time and respect. Exercise science is considered a relative new academic field although, back in the days, with less recognition, apparently exercise had another solid consideration. The goal of this post is to provide useful awareness about Exercise science applications and how they might fit your lifestyle. An accurate knowledge of what are Physical activity, Physical exercise, Fitness and Strength & Conditioning and sport. The right appraoch will help you to identify your needs and goals fot reach a happier life.

Physical activity

Physical activity is defined the body movement that requires energy expenditure. Movement is generated by the skeletal muscles. Physical activity includes exercise as well as other activities which involve bodily movement and are done as part of playing, working, active transportation, house chores and recreational activities. Phisical activity can contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction. Knowing that physical activity engagement has different levels as: Sedentary, Low active, Active, Very active. Physical activity and exercise are not the same.

Physical exercise

Physical exercise is a task or an activity deliberately planned, structured and repetitive that seeks to improve or maintain an adaptation contributing to enhance fitness and health. Worth to mention that this purposeful orientation of improvement must not have a negative contribution to health. Therefore maintain balance between benefits and inimical effects is decisive.

Fitness

Recently conceptions define fitness as your body state of being physiologically capable of handling challenges above a resting threshold of activity. In other words your readiness to succeed. Fitness has variety of applications and perspectives depending on its approach and outcomes: Physical fitness, Health fitness or Skill fitness. Each one has a related set of attributes to have and achieve which ultimately relate to the ability to perform. You can find out more about fitness goals in our Athletes, Health and P:REhab programs.

Strength & Conditioning

Strength & Conditioning (S&C) are programmed interventions and methodologies targeting physical or skill fitness aiming to develop a selected set of attributes. S&C is composed by the integration of multiple fitness attributes and its physiological adaptations to serve a purpose. A framework that reflects the requirements, needs and strengths for an outright profile or for a specific scenario. In both cases it sets up a pathway for a defined purpose.
Here are the 4 main goals an S&C program will benefit you:

1. Improve performance and function
2. Develop systematic interventions
3. Assess performance and progression
4.
Reduce injury risk

 

 

Sport

Sport are referred to be those phyiscal activities under official sanctioned regulations. Sport can be recreational or competitive. Sport has a specifc category within the biology of phyiscal activity. In fact, it is well known in the professional sports field that Strength & Conditioning is a valuable and indispensable tool to achieve adaptations that increase athletic performance to increase probability of success in competitive and non competitive sport disciplines.

FITNESS AND STRENGTH & CONDITIONING

Exercise science research has proved over the years the practical application and benefits of Exercise and S&C for fitness with athletic, health or prehab goals.
The point is, S&C is a powerful tool which is composed by a large variety of Key Performance Indicators (KPI). If KPI’s are based on physiological markers the program application for sedentary, active or athletic individuals are regulated by the same physiological markers. Therefore S&C and exercise applications are inclusive and, except on particular cases of disease, physology ain’t no different.

“Exercise science enhance and helps to improve for better life quality and performance.”

Exercise and Strength & Conditioning programs should answer the questions of “How”, “When” and “Why” to exercise under the approach of  “what” to achieve.  Preciselly what to improve or maintain will certainly be different to every particular individual or group needs, demands or goals.
Exercise targets biologic processes to induce adaptations, leading to progression, improving physiologic profile and enhancing capacities which can include climbing the Everest, reach that time mark, win the match, keep up with the young ones or attain a longevity state of health.

What is known is that exercise will improve fitness levels, fitness can improve health and an Strength & Conditioning program will balance and optimize a pathway to achieve better outcomes based on goals, needs or demands.

 

 

Do you wanna learn more about Strength & Conditioning in different applications and how a program might fit your needs? Find our more about ATHL.Exercise and ATHL.Core framework goals in our blog, here:

All you need to know about fitness
Health-fitness and the 7 outcomes to look for
Injury prevention and REhab, 7 outcomes to look for
Strength & Conditioning for athletic development
Why balance is critical?
Why strength is essential?
Why metabolism is vital?
Why endurance is important?
Why recovery is noteworthy?

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About the author:
Albert Piñol – Master of Physical Activity and Sports Science, MSc in Exercise Physiology, DHE Snowboard trainer, DH Mountain guide & Mountainbike and MAT certified. Snowboarder, exercise science and adventure sports enthusiast. IG: @albert_pinol