Essay on one of the five components of fitness

At the end of the quarter you will need to turn in a 250 word essay on your choice of either

cardiorespiratory endurance,

muscular strength,

muscular endurance,



body composition.

The De Anza College curriculum requiring this essay was written by a previous dean. For aerobic, novice, intermediate and advanced swimming the curriculum says De Anza students will write an: “Essay on one of the five components of fitness based on the textbook “Fit and Well” by Fahey et al.” For beginning swimming it says; “Essay on one of the five components of fitness based on the textbook “Fit and Well” by Fahey, et al evaluated on content and completeness.”

Many other De Anza knesiology (P.E.) activity classes have the same requirement.

Please note that your essay should be on the subject matter, not about you. (It should not tell the reader about your personal health issues, diets, injuries, exercise strategies, etc.)

It should not be about your opinions of what people should do to stay fit.

It should be based on research / reading you did, with quotes from whatever reading you choose in quotation marks, and telling the reader where you got the info from.

If you did not choose to buy the current edition of the text, (or if you still have a copy from a previous De Anza class or bought a copy of the text that is a few years old, but still mostly the same and okay for this class) there is more than one copy of the current edition at the De Anza Learning Center.

And especially if you do not have any version of the text, see:

“four main elements of fitness: aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness, muscle strength, flexibility and balance”

The readings linked to below, some of which were assigned or suggested at the class webpage for reading besides for the essay, could also help you write your paper:

(Below also find the links to nutrition articles and swimming articles that were class reading.)

seven reasons to love exercise

Why swimming is so good for you

9 safe exercise strategies

U.S. Masters Swimming has tips for stretching for swimmers.

7 smart stretching tips

U.C. Berkeley Wellness, in Exercise Away Your (lower) Back Pain says: “Walking is also good for the back, as is swimming (avoid the butterfly and breast stroke, which can put excessive strain on the lower back).”

3 back stretches (Cat-Cow, 90 degree lat stretch, Child’s pose)

Should you warm up and cool down?

3 core exercises (Seated medicine ball trunk rotations, Front plank, Side plank with bent knee)

3 shoulder exercises (Standing shoulder extension, Dumbbell lateral raise,Seated dumbbell press)

Exercise and heart attack survival

better walking workouts

mall walking


Does “runner’s high” exist?

Standard sleep advice says you shouldn’t exercise moderately or vigorously within a few hours of bedtime. But most studies have found that early evening exercise does not impair sleep quality.

basics of weight training

When doing strength training, what is the optimal rest time between sets?

11 best bets for brain health

How swimming can help you run faster

Free exercise guides you can download or order copies of, including Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from The National Institute on Aging:

and see SNEAKING EXERCISE for more ideas

mosaic with flowers and butterfly

and also from the swim class materials (not appropriate for this essay, but for your reference):

Reading on preventing swimmer’s ear

4 causes — and solutions — for muscle cramps during exercise

The American Cancer Society has skin cancer prevention info at:

You should remove your piercings when you swim . . . body piercings and lifeguards:

Pool Safety ( and the Water Safety page at this website)

Answers to questions about sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are at: Go there and search for sunscreen . . .

Sunscreen Myths and Facts:

USA diver has a bunch of great pages, including how the scoring system works.

USA swimming has links to top times at:


If you would like to do some reading about swimming strokes, or swimming in general,
try the American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Manual Its public libraries number is 797. This is the text for the Red Cross swimming teacher certification Water Safety Instructor.

It might still be downloadable for free at:

The Cooper 12 minute swim test is on page 195, where it says “The 12-minute swimming test, devised by Kenneth Cooper, M.D., is an easy, inexpensive way for men and women of all ages to test their aerobic capacity (oxygen consumption) and to chart their fitness program.”

Red Cross swimming and water safety text cover: Red Cross swimming and water safety text coverdigital water safe manual: photo of a computer screen showing part of a digital text

(The American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Manual had no index, so I wrote one: Swimming and Water Safety 2009 index).



cover of a red Cross lifeguard training manual showing a rescue tube floating in a pool

To get a free download of the copyrighted 2016, released 2017 American Red Cross Lifeguarding Manual go to:

This will get you to a page that says:

Instructor Candidate Resources

Instructions, course materials and resources

Then scroll down to and click on Lifeguarding (or any other program that interests you)

then scroll down to

Lifeguarding Manual June 2017                 Document

and click for the download.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

To make it easier to find the skills sheets pages write in your Red Cross Lifeguarding Manual

The Red Cross prerequisite swim tests are described at: Lifeguard Training FAQS That page has lots of how to pass the tests advice, including some of the standards expected by the Red Cross and is worth reading thoroughly if you are tempted to try a lifeguard class.


Get ready for lifeguard training.




HLTH-057A, the De Anza class for certification in Red Cross first aid (or just to learn first aid), meets your choice of Fall, Winter or Spring quarter, for

ONLY FOUR Friday afternoons.

Various swim students have taken the class in anticipation of possibly becoming lifeguards. One swim student got the highest A+ in the HLTH57A class fall quarter 2018, another swim student got a perfect score on the final exam in spring 2019. There is a free download of the text available at the class webpage.


mosaic with flowers and butterfly

NUTRITION articles (not appropriate for this essay, but mentioned at the class webpage and here in a list for your reference).

14 keys to a healthy diet

healthy eating/supermarket buying guide

What to eat before a workout

make your own sports drink

Optional: “ . . . energy drinks have been linked in recent years with nearly three dozen deaths and hundreds of other adverse events, including seizures and cardiac arrests. There is no good reason to drink them.”

18 keys to a healthy diet

Sugary Drinks Increase Mortality Risk

Can supplements help with colds?

You don’t need to drink eight glasses of water each day:

Sneak some more fruit juice into yourself or kids: Pour several different colored 100% juices into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen, put an assortment of different colored fruit juice cubes into a glass and pour apple juice or white grape juice or sugar-free seltzer over the cubes.

Healthy eating on a budget:

Foods that lower blood pressure

Look up a food to get quick access to nutrition info for over 8,000 foods. You can choose and compare 2 foods.

You can look up various vitamins at:

studies may have put the kibosh on three common health claims made for fish oil pills

You can search the database by food item, food group, or manufacturer’s name to find the nutrient information for most food items.


Don’t be afraid of fruit

Caffeine, Athletic Performance, and Your Genes

To help reduce age-related cognitive decline:

switch good fats for bad fats