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Fitness Components For All Ages
  
What are Essential Fitness Components
       Fitness components are general qualities that everyone should acquire to extend their quality of life as they age. Fitness is a critical component of a healthy and active retirement. These components are the foundation of exercise/training programs.

       Administrators recognize that the key to a complete individual is achieved through physical activities that can be satisfied through recreational/sporting activities that hopefully will continue after graduation. As a result, physical fitness is stressed in US colleges and universities.

      Many schools have established Recreational Departments that work in conjunction with Health Services to promote a variety of recreational activities and sport leagues to provide opportunities for part and full-time students to participate in competitive events while attending college. Students who participate have available a sports medicine program to treat and rehabilitate any injuries that may occur while training and competing.

       These recreational student athletes can range in their level of their training intensity and their desire to win. Mostly these individuals benefit from the camaraderie of participation without the "Win at any cost" that is so prevalent in NCAA levels of sports activities.

           Components 
  
Description

  
Endurance
The ability to sustain submaximal activity for extended periods of time. It involves muscular endurance (the ability of a muscle to contract repeatedly) and cardio fitness (the ability of the heart, lungs, and hormonal systems to deliver oxygen and fuel to the muscles). 

  
Muscular Strength
The ability to move a maximum weight. It can also be described as the maximum amount of force that a muscle can generate in a single effort. The need is to make significant strength gains, muscles fibers (cells) gain size.
  
Quickness
The ability to perform body movements to different tempos or rhythms.
   
Time
The time elapsed from the start of the movement to end of the movement and movement.
   
Power/Speed
The skater's coverage over the ice. Also involves an acceleration of force.
   
Agility Fitness
The ability to move quickly and change directions under control to execute sport skills. It is a composite of many fitness components - speed, power, strength, balance, flexibility, reaction time, and coordination.
  
Flexibility
The ability achieve a wide range of joint motion allowing optimal flexibility and performance.

Balance
The ability to maintain a static or dynamic position. Static balance is when the skater is not moving. Dynamic balance is when the skater maintains equilibrium while moving.
   
Coordination
The ability to move smoothly and efficiently that is specific to each figure skating discipline.
  

Joint Stability
Injuries inherent in the sport can be minimized or prevented with joint strengthening. Athletic trainers need to perform tests to determine weaknesses or threats to joint integrity. It may be advisable incorporate additional single joint exercises, such as hamstring curls, leg extensions for quadriceps, and ankle strengthening activities.

   
Trunk Strength and Stability
Extensions and bending are examples of movements that require adequate trunk strength and stability, particularly when changing directions rapidly.  It is essential to incorporate a variety of core strengthening exercises in a skater's training plan.
    
Weight
Monitoring progress to determine an athlete's best competitive weight for greatest agility fitness.

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:


Fitness Training Plans
Fitness Exercises
Fitness Components For All Ages
Exercising
Exercising Programs
Firehouse Fitness
Benefits of General Physical Preparedness
Fitness for Sports & Life Activities
Fitness Program Components
PDF  Sports Medicine Links

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