By partaking in gym and athletics, not only have I become healthier and more fit but I have also had the opportunity to clear my mind and get blood flowing to my brain thus increasing my productivity and therefore, improving my school work. Goals Specific increase my weight by 1 kg. improve my upper and lower body strength improve my fitness level improve flexibility – specifically forward reach Measurable I can weigh myself on a monthly basis I can compare the weights used and the number of repetitions performed I can see how far forward I can reach I can redo fitness after 3 months Attainable I will do weight training 3 times per week I will eat more foods high in protein I will continue with my fitness training with rugby I will stretch 3 times per week Relevant Achieving these goals will help improve my soccer and athletics performance. Timely I will achieve these goals in 4 weeks.
Threats and Opportunities:
Wear comfortable clothing;
Always warm up before doing exercise and cool down afterwards to lower the risk of strains and sprains;
Take appropriate breaks during the activity;
Do not exercise with an empty stomach. Eat something light (such as toast with jam or skimmed milk) to give you some stamina.
Do not exercise immediately after a full meal because this will affect digestion; Replenish extra fluids before, during and after physical activity.
Listen to the body. Do not exercise when unwell. If there is dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea or vomiting, or muscle and joint pain during exercise, stop the activity and seek medical advice as soon as possible. The demands of school work.
Try to not eat unhealthy foods such as sweets, crisps and fried foods. Stay clear of fast food. Reflective Essay: Before this program I did consider myself fit. Last year I did a significant amount of training towards indoor soccer, which is a cardio intensive sport, however I was probably not at my peak fitness at the beginning of the programme. This year I have not participated in many sport activities due to the demand of matric. I did occasionally go to gym but as the year progressed, my motivation towards gym decreased and my focus was shifted to school. Due to Science after school and multiple extra lessons I could not find time to focus on my health and fittness.
Despite my lack of free time, I did do some strength and fitness training at home like push ups, sit ups, going for runs and doing pull ups. While following my program, I started to feel less anxious and stressed. I felt calmer and relaxed after sessions, especially due to the fact that I am ADD and this allowed me to ‘burn off’ extra energy. The decrease in my stress levels also helped me think clearly and decreased my overall procrastination.
Socially, I became less present due to the lack of free time I had between studying for prelims and following my program. At the end of my program, I increased my weight by 1,25 kg which was above my originally set goal, my upper body and lower body increased in strength as I was able to do more reps in various workouts with heavier weights and my fitness level increased. My increase in fitness was apparent in my constant alertness throughout the day. I did not get tired as easily throughout the day and my sleeping pattern also improved. My flexibility did improve but not as I hoped it would. I would of liked it if I was able to touch my toes after my program rather than just my ankles, however now I know that I need to focus more on my flexibility moving forward. I weighed myself on a monthly basis and constantly paid attention to all the weights I used, my reps per each workout, my flexibility per session and also the time taken for me to recover. Some days I would feel fine and others I would feel sore and my muscles would ache from the workout sessions. I did weight training 3 times per week and ate foods high in protein in order to provide my body with amino acids to help my muscles recover and grow due to protein synthesis. Achieving these goals helped improve my indoor soccer performance.
My upper body strength helped build my confidence in challenging for the ball against older players and I also saw a difference in theme it took for me to tire out. I also felt the improvement in my fitness as I would recover quickly during the game and maintain my energy throughout the game. Having established an exercise programme for a 4 week period with specific measurable goals was firstly very motivating for me. The monitoring of my progress and documenting the activities gave me a good sense of how I was doing, in particular when I was not able to do a session. I did not encounter that many challenges but I would say that the demands with after school lessons, certain projects and tests, did make finding the time to exercise difficult.
When I set up the programme, I did not take all these additional factors into account. It seemed relatively easy to find the time as majority of my program was to be done during the holidays but some times after extremely busy days of working or late nights with friends, my motivation and energy level lowered. I feel that I have succeed in relation to the goals I set however, I have learnt that one should keep setting goals to improve. I believe I was successful as I achieved my set out goals and achieved them within the time limit but I believe that this is not the end. I still need to constantly work on myself and constantly try to build a healthier lifestyle. I found that I was able to do a lot more than I would have done normally and as a result improved my strength and fitness which had a positive impact on my indoor soccer matches and my school work. I also learnt that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not always easy.
While my motivation was high, I often found that making the time to exercise as a busy teenager is not always simple. Also, I realised that I am a goal orientated person therefore setting the goals helped me attain the results I wanted. Therefore, this program has taught me that setting goals will help me achieve them. This program has also helped me to improve and focus on my health and my lifestyle with in turn helped reduce my overall stress and improved my productivity.
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