Factors Affecting Fitness • How fit you are now depends upon several factors. None of them are under your control!! • Factors that affect fitness are: – Age and Sex – Body composition – Physique – Diet – Exercise – Physical Disability – Illness and fatigue – Drug taking – Stress – The environment Age • You are usually at your fittest in you twenties. • At thirty your: • Muscles get weaker • Bones get lighter • Heart rate decreases • Joints get stiffer • Movements get slower. • Body fat increases. Sex/Gender • Up to about 11, males and females are equal in terms of general fitness. • Strength – Males grow 50% stronger due to muscle mass. • Cardiovascular Endurance – Males are better at transporting oxygen as they have larger lungs. • Bone Structure – Males are usually larger and heavier than females. They also have a narrower pelvis. • Speed – Because they have longer bones and bigger muscles, males can move faster. • Flexibility – Females score higher for flexibility. Females of all ages tend to be more flexible. • Body Composition- Females usually have more body fat than males. Physique • Your build and shape makes you fitter for some sports than others. • A tall thin person is probably more suited to basketball than boxing. Diet • Your body needs certain substances for energy, growth and repair. • You get them from food. • If you don’t eat healthy then your body will not function properly. Exercise • No matter how unfit you are, regular exercise will make you fitter. • Running and doing weights is not the only way. • Walking the dog, cycling, gardening, etc. Physical Disability • A disability means part of your body does not function properly. • Exercise can keep the rest of the body very fit. • Many disabled people are first class athletes. (Tanni Grey) Illness and Fatigue • When you are tired or ill you are less fit for activity. • If you work too hard and do not have enough rest you can become ill. Drug Taking • Alcohol, cigarettes and many other substances lower your fitness. • If you get caught for taking drugs in competition you get a large fine and a ban from your sport. Stress • Exams, arguments, overwork, money problems – all these lead to stress. • Continual stress can lead to illness, causing high blood pressure and heart disease. • It is also linked to cancer. The Environment • Fumes from traffic and factories. • The weather – hot, cold, humidity. • At high altitude the air is thinner and you need to breathe harder to get enough oxygen. • For all, you need time to adapt.