This course explains why humans see, touch, smell, taste and hear the world around us like we do. It also shows with practical examples how our body is able to move and how to improve flexibility, performance and posture. The course guides you to a better understanding of the operation of muscles and nerves, in movements and reactions observed in the body.
This course covers: nerves, the nervous system, motor skills, structure & function of skeletal muscle, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility.
Prerequisites: Human Biology BSC101 or equivalent.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
From childhood, flexibility has been emphasised as an important part of health but it can be the most overlooked physiology. Most people understand that flexibility and range of motion are important, but do not understand the actual influences stretching has on the body.
Unlike weight training and cardiovascular activity, stretching does not burn significant calories, and is not usually perceived as a body shaping activity. Few realise that stretching before and after a workout does add strength to the body, aids in the prevention of injury, and dramatically increases recovery time.
Many people do not realise the impact that periodic stretching has on the fitness level of the muscles and body, or the ability of the body to perform. Stretching before weight training can actually improve overall lift strength, as well as endurance.
When the muscles are not stretched, there are localised areas within the muscle where the muscle fibres are flexed tightly together. These "knots" of muscle are already flexed, and often remain flexed regardless of the range of motion of your exercise. Because the muscles within these knots remain flexed, throughout the range of motion, the knot of muscle cannot participate in the lift. Subsequently, much less muscle and fewer motor units are used for each repetition. The result is less lift strength and slower progress.
Stretching before a workout counteracts these knots by pulling the flexed muscle cells apart. This allows the cells to function at their full range of motion, and contribute to each lift. Stretching before a workout is paramount to realising maximum strength gains and necessary to experience the greatest benefit during a workout.
It is advisable to allow the muscles to extend to their fullest range of motion through stretching after cardiovascular or weight training activity to:
prevent the range of motion from becoming limited. This prevents the body from becoming muscle bound, and from having to work too hard in daily activities.
remove the waste that has built up in the muscles during the workout. This speeds muscle recovery, and lessens the muscle soreness that is typical of any fitness program.
A good stretching program performed after a workout when muscles are warm improves or maintains optimal flexibility. For best results, the program need take only ten minutes two or three times a week.
LEARN TO HELP PEOPLE
Sports trainers, fitness instructors and others who deal with young, fit clients, will be able to help them improve performance and manage safety better with what is learnt in this course.
In other situations though, graduates may be dealing with people who have impaired movement, perhaps due to injury or old age.
Understanding muscles and movement can help you to help others with mobility and day to day quality of life, even where their movement is severely impaired.