xvi Introduction And I loved setting a competitive goal for myself and achieving it. Though I only participated in intramural sports at university, I was lucky to land a job at the Olympic Education Center on my college campus in Northern Michigan while majoring in exercise physiology. After graduation, I moved to Colorado to com- plete a master’s degree in biomechanics while continuing work at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. For my thesis, I worked with the best swim- mers in the country as I studied how to minimize the coefficients of lift and drag force in the water. Though I eventually chose to go to medical school rather than pursuing a PhD, I still love how sports, exercise science, kinesiology, and psychol- ogy come together as athletes strive to perform at their best. When the chance to edit Exercise and Physical Activity: From Health Benefits to Fitness Crazes was offered, I said yes without hesitation it was a great way to revisit the beauty of our muscular anatomy, to review and update the scientific concepts I had enjoyed studying in the past, to explore new sports and activities that I have never participated in, to consider the injuries related to activity and how to minimize the risk of occurrence, and to celebrate the past and present heroes that have influenced the American evolution of health and fitness. This book is designed to provide you with concise but necessary information about exercise and physical activity, all within one easy-to-read resource. Exercise and Physical Activity: From Health Benefits to Fitness Crazes includes over 200 entries that cover five main themes: Anatomy, Basic Science and Concepts, Prac- tical Applications, Health Benefits and Risks, and Exercise and Society. Did you know there are an estimated 650 named skeletal muscles in the body? Under the Anatomy theme, you will find entries on all the major skeletal muscle groups of the human body, from the neck to the ankles and feet. You will learn the names of muscles, their origins and attachment points, and how they move the human body. Tips on specific muscle-strengthening exercises and risks of poten- tial injury are included as well. Entries on the connective tissues that attach mus- cles to bones, stabilize joints, prevent muscle friction, and aid in movement are also found in the Anatomy category. The entries found under the theme of Basic Science and Concepts cover topics within the advancing fields of exercise physiology, kinesiology, exercise science, and sports psychology. You will learn how alcohol, caffeine, nutrition, and preg- nancy influence exercise and performance. The concepts of anabolism and catabo- lism, aerobic and anaerobic exercise, maximal oxygen uptake, and hydration and dehydration will be explained. You will even be taught how to measure body mass index (BMI), along with other ways to assess your fitness level through testing. Within the Practical Applications theme, entries have been provided on sev- enty-two diverse sports and physical activities, including aerial arts, disc golf, ice hockey, kickboxing, rock climbing, and many more. Each entry provides you with a description of the activity, its history (particularly within the United States), and the physical and psychological health enhancements and injuries that can be asso- ciated with participation. Entries under the theme of Health Benefits and Risks explore the effects of exercise on many of the body’s physiological processes and related systems, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, bone density, cholesterol, and endurance. The
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