Research Proposal: Exercise Science the Physiological Benefits of Childhood

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Exercise Science

The Physiological Benefits of Childhood Exercise

The problem of childhood obesity has worsened in recent years as children tend to engage in less physical activity, to eat less nutritionally and to lead generally sedentary lifestyles. The result is a set of negative health indicators which include juvenile diabetes, increased risk of heart disease and diminishing physical dexterity. Therefore, the research conducted here makes as its primary focus the positive implications of regular physical activity and exercise for children. Considering the anatomical implications of regular healthy exercise, the research will reveal an array of benefits to immediate and long-term health maintenance.

The physiological indicators produced by the exercise science discipline illustrate that there are causes in terms of both shaping emphasis and preempting risks in examining exercise strictly as a function of childhood anatomy. A number of differences or nuances in impact on the child's physiology as opposed to the adult physiology surface during the research that will reinforce the thesis espousing exercise programs specifically designed for the health needs of youth.

Chief among them is the evidence demonstrating that exercise and physical activity are directly related to cardiovascular indicators. Heart health is positively correlated with exercise and, according to the research, physical activity can be a good way to diagnosis, detect or treat emerging heart conditions in youth. Connections are also made in the research between exercise and both aerobic and anaerobic gains for the child. The child's unique heart rate patterns and energy production mechanisms are discussed in this context. The relationship between bone density and exercise, also distinct in the child, is examined in the discussion as well. The reference to these different systems reveals the encompassing benefits of exercise to the pre-adolscent youth.

Key Findings:

Khan, K.; McKay, H.; Haapasalo, H.; Bennell, K.; Forwood, M.; Kannus, P. & Wark, J. (2000). Does childhood and adolescence provide a unique opportunity for exercise to strengthen the skeleton?. Journal of Science and medicine in Sport, 3(2), 150-164.

The article by Khan et al. provides the set of findings relating to bone density and exercise. It denotes that the still-developing skeletal structure of the child makes it both vulnerable and capable of positive pattern-setting. Exercise is demonstrated to initiate a positive pattern in bone density that can strengthen the developing body and help to prevent future conditions such as bone loss or osteoporosis.

Rosenbaum, M. (2001). Increasing Basal Metabolic Rate Through Exercise. Medscape.

The Rosenbaum article examines the use of resting energy by the body and the metabolic system, finding that in those who exercise, these processes are more efficient even while at rest.

Rowland, T.W. (2005). Children's Exercise Physiology. Human Kinetics.

The text by Rowland provides an excellent overview of the larger subject at hand, providing technical evaluations of the metabolic, musculoskeletal and general anatomical impact on children of exercise as it differs from the impact in adults.

Sallis, J.F.; Prochaska, J.J. & Taylor, W.C. (2000). A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents. Medical Science in Sports Exercise, 32(5), p. 963-975.

The Sallis text provides an overview to the discussion which affiliates physical activity with the prevention of negative health conditions. This forms the impetus for the presentation, which proceeds from the perspective that there is a health-based cause for investigating exercise as a function of youth physiology.

Sharp, C. (1999). Some features of the anatomy and exercise physiology of children, relating to training. IAAF/NSA.

The Sharp article is a thorough discussion on the various systems and organs in the body and how they are specifically impacted by exercise in children. The article provides the focus on aerobic and anaerobic benefits which are referenced in the presentation. In addition, the Sharp article provides an instructive counterpoint by denoting that there are risks in failing to differentiate between the exercise health needs of children and adults.

Simons-Morton, B.G.; Parcel, G.S.; O'Hara, N.M.; Blair, S.N. & Pate, R.R. (1988). Health Related Physical Fitness in Childhood. American Review of Public Health, 9. 403-425.

The article by Simons-Morton et al. offers reinforcement of general claims connecting physical activity with the prevention of both immediate and long-term heart ailments.

Tomassoni, T.L. (1996). Role of exercise in the management of cardiovascular disease in children and youth. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 28(4), 406-413.

The Tomassoni article discusses connections between physical activity and cardiovascular indicators in children. Particularly, the article provides the resolution that physical activity is a useful testing approach to diagnosing cardiovascular conditions present in children as well as treating them under observation.

Presentation:

Childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes and sedentary lifestyle are all conditions which lead to serious health problems later in life. All may also be prevented by lifestyle changes. The discussion here considers exercise as a fundamentally important aspect of a child's upbringing, lifestyle and education. Indeed, considerable evidence is available to us to suggest that the anatomy of youth is particularly suited to reaping the physiological benefits of regular physical activity, with a consideration of the connection between youth exercise and different aspects of the anatomy revealing that the cardiovascular, pulmonary and bone systems all are positive impacted thereby. The study which I am here to present concerns the exercise habits of youth and the correlated benefits both in the immediate and long terms. The improvement of opportunities for exercise, physical activity and outdoor play will have myriad positive effects on both the anatomy of the child and the future health and lifestyle orientation which the child develops.

According to Sallis et al. (2000), there are a number of distinct factors which make one more or less inclined to healthful physical activity. Indeed, we may identify that in children, the propensity toward physical activity will be largely dependent on a number of variables. Accordingly, Sallis et al. determined that the "variables that were consistently associated with children's physical activity were sex (male), parental overweight status, physical activity preferences, intention to be active, perceived barriers (inverse), previous physical activity, healthy diet, program/facility access, and time spent outdoors." (Sallis et al., 2000, p. 963) Individually, collectively and in all manner of permutation, these variables combine to establish a tendency toward healthful physical activity or a lack thereof.

The subject focus here on youth and the benefits of exercise is underscored by a number of anatomical and physiological realities that justify an emphasis thereupon. The value of exercise to youth is denoted by a number of anatomical indicators. Perhaps the most significant among these is that which connects regular daily physical activity with cardiovascular benefits in children. As the article by Tomassoni (1996) indicates, "there is an increasing interest in the use of exercise testing and training in the clinical management of both congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease in children and youth." (Tomassoni, 406) This is because the connection between exercise and such cardiovascular indicators as pulse acceleration and blood pressure allows for health observations to be made on the basis of internal responses to heightened physical activity. In the Tomassoni text, we are provided with findings indicating that there is a notable physiological benefit to cardiovascular function for those who are at a young age, denoting that future cardiovascular health may also be shaped by participation in exercise and physical activity.

The article by Simons-Morton (1988) endorses this finding, producing the resolution that the long-term threat of cardiovascular disease which is high amongst American and which increasingly threatens youth due to sedentary lifestyle and poor nutritional habits, may be reduced by the anatomical impact of exercise. The Simons-Morton text reports upon research which denotes that "the substantial relationships between regular participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity and positive health outcomes, especially cardiovascular disease risk reduction, are now well established." (Simons-Morton, 403) the establishment of this connection in empirical certainty reflects the focus of this discussion, indicating that the benefits to promoting exercise amongst youth are likely to carry with them long-term physiological gains in terms of health.

The research by Rosenbaum (2001) also adds to this the resolution that one distinct metabolic outcome relates to the expenditure of energy while at rest. Evidence shows that this indicator of metabolic efficiency, which should be inversely proportional to fitness, is lower in those who engage exercise. Rosenbaum reports "that resting-energy expenditure remains depressed in subjects undergoing dietary weight loss with the addition of exercise, while others report that exercise in addition to weight loss preserves resting metabolic rate at pre-weight-loss levels." (Rosenbaum, 1) for children, the metabolic outcomes of exercise persist even at rest, where digestion produces a more efficient storage and use of energy.

Certain distinctions in the anatomical response of the child also suggest a significant opportunity for the realization of exercise's positive attributes as compared to that available to the adult. Among these, Sharp (1999) identifies the aerobic specificities of the child as being designed to sustain some level of dynamic physical engagement not necessarily accessible to an older subject. As Sharp's article tells, "the aerobic side of exercise involves heart, lungs, blood and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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