Physiology and Fitness
International fitness expert Dean Hodgkin has presented master classes and seminars to fitness instructors in more than 30 countries. Voted Best International Fitness Presenter at the One Body One World awards in New York, he has appeared on numerous television and radio programs worldwide. A three-time World Karate Champion and a two-time European Karate Champion, Hodgkin earned a B.Sc. honors degree in Mathematics and Management Studies from the University of Portsmouth. He continued his education at Leicester College, where he was awarded the Certificate in Exercise and Health Studies by the Physical Education Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the leading qualification in the field at the time. Since then he has accrued a wide and impressive array of vocational qualifications and is a regular attendee at conferences focused on the latest health and fitness research findings. At the 2012 International Fitness Showcase-Europe's largest group exercise event, attracting more than 7,000 participants-Hodgkin received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to the fitness industry.
01: Components of Fitness
Begin by considering the life-enhancing value of fitness and the remarkable statistics showing its wide range of benefits for your physical and mental health. In approaching the specifics of exercise, you'll investigate the health-related components of fitness, including cardiovascular health, muscular endurance and strength, flexibility, and body composition.
02: How Fit Are You?
Measuring the core elements of your own fitness is an important step in designing and managing an exercise program. Here, learn about the principal methods of fitness testing and how to set benchmarks to monitor your own progress. Guided by filmed demonstrations, perform your own at-home tests covering the areas of fitness you learned about in the first lecture.
03: Overcome the Barriers to Exercise
This lecture looks in depth at potential obstacles encountered in exercise. Examine the logistical and psychological challenges in designing a fitness program and how to overcome them. Explore the elements of motivation and effective approaches to setting fitness goals. Also, learn some of the many ways you can integrate exercise into your daily routine.
04: Your Heart in Action
Here, investigate the fabulous mechanism of your own heart, the system of blood flow through the body, and exactly why the heart becomes stronger through exercise. Learn about the primary cardiovascular workouts-including continuous training, interval training, and cross training-and their effects on your quality of life.
05: The Fitness of Breathing
In exploring the respiratory system, study the processes of breathing and lung function and the ways in which exercise benefits all maladies of the lungs. Then practice a group of breathing exercises from different traditions, noting how they improve cardiac function, decrease stress, and aid both physical and mental health.
06: You Can Reduce Stress
Exercise offers one of the most effective defenses against stress. First, look at the root causes of stress, its debilitating symptoms, and specific self-help tactics to counter it, including relaxation techniques, meditation, and even laughing. Conclude with a series of targeted physical exercises to release stress from all areas of the body.
07: Fitness and Pregnancy
Contrary to common myths, intelligent exercise provides numerous benefits during pregnancy. Study how exercise affects the changes taking place in a pregnant woman's body. See how the core principles of exercise apply during pregnancy and learn specific recommendations for prenatal exercise and for returning to normal fitness afterward.
08: Refuel, Recover, and Reenergize
Proper physical recovery, both after exercise and between workouts, is essential to achieving fitness goals. Learn about the physiology of fatigue and rest and the fundamentals of refueling, including carbohydrate, protein, and fluid intake. Then, study physical recovery after exercise, highlighting water therapy, stretching, myofascial release, and self-massage techniques.
09: Thinking-The Brain-Body Connection
This lecture explores the significant effects of physical activity on brain function and psychological health. Investigate the capacity of exercise to build your self-esteem, elevate your mood, and improve your cognitive function and sleep habits. Also, explore the use of mental imagery to boost your physical performance and deepen your well-being.
10: Healthy Joints for Life
Now discover the body's incredible system of joints and the role of the joints in human mobility. Study the structure and function of all the major joints and why exercise is crucial for their health and longevity. Consider the various forms of joint problems and specific ways to overcome them.
11: Protecting Yourself from Injury
Injury in exercise can be minimized or avoided completely with a clear knowledge of its potential. Begin by tracking how injuries heal, then review common activity-related injuries and their remedies. After that, study the psychological factors in injury, approaches to pain management, and how to calibrate your fitness program to avoid injury.
12: The Amazing Benefits of Balance
This lecture explores balance training as a prime preventive tool for health. Investigate the processes involved in balance and the role of balance in all physical activity. Practice a spectrum of exercises to improve your posture, coordination, reaction speed, strength, and flexibility. Also, learn about advanced techniques for improving your sports performance.
13: Fueling Fitness
Every biological process requires energy. Understanding energy production, therefore, gives you far-reaching insight into exercise. Study the body's three basic fuels (carbohydrates, protein, and fat), the three systems of energy production in the body, and, in practice, how to train these energy systems to get the fitness results you're after.
14: Why Everyone Should Exercise in Water
For many people of all fitness levels, the pool is becoming the new gym. Here, immerse yourself in the numerous benefits of water-based workouts, delving into fluid dynamics as they affect exercise. Study a range of tips for your pool workout and learn about variations such as water-based yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi.
15: The Secret Life of Muscles
Physical strength and endurance-as well as movement itself-rest on the body's complex system of muscles. Study the basics of muscle construction and action and the muscular movements in all the key joints. Learn in detail about resistance training and how to construct dynamic workouts around your own fitness goals.
16: Strong to the Bone
Discover the living structure of the skeleton, the surprising construction and variety of the bones, and how bone health plays a critical role in the quality of your later life. Then, see how resistance training increases bone density, and review the many training options that can delay or even reverse bone deterioration and osteoporosis.
17: Getting Your Back on Track
The engineering marvel of the spine provides support for your entire body. Study the anatomy of the spine, spinal motion, and the concept of "core strength"-the action of the spine-related muscles working together. In filmed demonstrations, target the core muscles in exercise, laying the foundation for a healthy back for life.
18: 21st-Century Yoga
Drawing on a 3,000-year-old tradition, consider the many proven health benefits of "fitness yoga," which aims to enhance muscular balance and strength, develop flexibility, and improve skeletal posture and lung capacity. In this lecture, demystify the complexities of yoga. Here, you'll practice a sequence of three basic poses and discover how to link them as a routine.
19: Walk Your Way to Fitness
This lecture highlights the remarkable and underappreciated rewards of walking. Track the research documenting the numerous health parameters affected by walking, including its cardiovascular, weight loss, and disease-reduction benefits. Learn the physiology of walking motion, key principles for walking workouts, and three walking techniques you can use to improve your health and fitness.
20: The Amazing Benefits of Stretching
As one of the core health-related components of fitness, flexibility plays a fundamental role in your quality of life and longevity. Using filmed demonstrations, learn three kinds of stretching techniques (as well as guidelines for your own stretching program) to enhance your range of motion and physical relaxation, reduce risk of injury, and improve posture.
21: Stay Active-Defy the Aging Process
Explore the nature of aging in all of the body's systems and the extraordinary capacity of exercise to slow and even reverse the biological clock. Target relevant exercises for cardio fitness, strength/endurance, flexibility, balance, and motor skills. Also, establish an exercise blueprint for each decade of your life.
22: Sitting Disease
As the flip side of physical activity, prolonged sitting poses real hazards for your health. Study the physiological effects of sedentary living and the risks and loss of functionality that result. Learn a four-prong system to improve your future health by introducing more activity at work, at home, and while flying and driving.
23: Exercise for Weight Loss
Beyond aesthetic matters, weight management is a fundamental issue for health and longevity. This lecture explores exercise as a dynamic tool for weight loss, showing you how and why it works. Learn about exercise programs and approaches for weight-loss training and the factors involved in successfully maintaining your new weight.
24: Mobilizers and Stabilizers-Managing Your Abs
The perfectly flat stomach remains the most popular aesthetic indictor of fitness. In understanding this key area, uncover the structure of the "mobilizer" and "stabilizer" muscles and their unique functions. Practice a series of moving and isometric exercises to tone them, serving both to look your best and build a strong core.
25: Body Weight Workout
This first workout uses only the weight of your body against gravity, providing a whole body workout you can do anywhere, with no cost and no special equipment. Emphasizing everyday movements for functional fitness, this lecture shows you 13 core floor and standing exercises that target all areas of the body.
26: Medicine Ball Workout
Prized by athletes since ancient times, the medicine ball is an ideal exercise tool to develop power for personal fitness and sports performance. Here, perform a complete top-to-toe workout with the ball, targeting flexion, extension, rotation movements, and muscle groups including your shoulder girdle, triceps, abdominals, and core muscles.
27: Step and Interval Workout
Using a simple step platform, this workout combines cardio and strength exercises that work your upper and lower body. Alternating one minute of cardio and one minute of strength work (with 30 seconds of rest in between), perform a comprehensive range of exercises to burn calories, improve balance, and tone your body.
28: Dumbbell Workout
Beyond its many remarkable health benefits, resistance training is the number one choice for changing or "sculpting" your physique. Using the principle of your muscles' adaptation to work against resistance, practice a series of eight dumbbell exercises, targeting alternating muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, legs, chest, and abdominal areas.
29: Combat Workout
Using no equipment, this workout employs intense cardio combat movements and develops the skill-related elements of agility, balance, and coordination. Learn a series of defensive blocks as well as dynamic punches and powerful kicks, linking them together in sequences to burn calories and reshape your whole body.
30: Fitness Ball Workout
Challenging you to work against an unstable surface, this large, inflatable ball is a versatile tool for achieving whole-body strength and alignment. Practice a range of exercises in different positions with the ball, working muscle groups including the gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps, inner thighs, back muscles, and rotator cuffs.
31: Balance Board Workout
Exercising with a balance board challenges your body's joint receptors that control movement and balance, as well as recruits 20% more muscle fibers than a flat-surface workout. Learn 13 key exercises using the board, in a total-body workout for toning, balance, and core strength.
32: Kettlebell Workout
First used by the Russian military in the 18th century, the kettlebell allows for swinging movements and working with momentum, stimulating a different muscular response from other resistance tools. Practice an eight-exercise workout, using the kettlebell to build your cardio fitness, endurance, core strength, posture, and coordination.
33: Plyometrics Workout
Also known as "jump training," plyometrics uses the principle of increasing muscular power by stretching muscles before contracting them. In this time-efficient, intensive workout, focus on six jump-based exercises, dynamically working both your legs and upper torso, burning calories and toning all of the major muscles in your body.
34: Resistance Band Workout
The resistance band, an elastic tube with handles on either end, is an ingenious exercise tool, allowing you to do a full muscular strength workout at home or while traveling. Using the band's resistance in various positions, work a range of muscle groups in your arms, chest, back, shoulders, and legs.
35: Training Bar Workout
Weighted and roughly three feet long, the training bar is a convenient home-use tool for building muscular strength and endurance. Practice a spectrum of exercises that will work and tone numerous muscle groups, develop your arms and legs, and integrate strength in your upper and lower body.
36: Stretching Routine
This concluding workout is designed as both a daily flexibility routine and as a sequence you can use at the end of any of the other workouts. After reviewing the core principles of flexibility training, you'll practice a pleasurable and invigorating group of static stretches that will release all the areas of your body.