Health, Exercise, Diet and Fitness



£320 inc VAT
Study method
Online, self-paced
12 Months
No formal qualification
Additional info
  • Tutor is available to students
  • Certificate of completion available and is included in the price

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This distance learning course is a great way to begin a career in the fitness industry. If you need to build up a base of underpinning knowledge about health and fitness, then this course is for you. You'll learn about the human body and how its responses can be measured, and progress tracked. You'll learn about nutrition, and how to guide others to adopt a healthier lifestyle.


Unit 1 – Defining the Concepts Health, Exercise and Fitness

  • What is Health?
  • Physical, social and mental health
  • What is exercise?
  • Types of exercise – Sports Continuum
  • The Sports Continuum
  • What is fitness?
  • Health benefits of taking part in regular exercise
  • Ten reasons to get more active
  • Health related components of fitness
  • Skill related components of fitness
  • Comparison of health and skill related fitness

Unit 2 – Understanding the components of Fitness and how to test them

  • Definition of the components of fitness
  • Detained analysis of each component
  • Why do we want to test our fitness?
  • Measuring the components of fitness
  • Components of fitness needed for different sporting activities

Unit 3 – Ways to improve Fitness & training methods

  • How the body generates energy for exercise
  • The Creatine Phosphate system
  • The Lactic Acid system and Oxygen debt
  • The Aerobic system
  • Analysis of different training zones
  • Principles of SPORT
  • FITT principles
  • Methods of training :- Continuous, Fartlek, Interval, Weight Training, Plymetrics, Flexibility Training and Circuit Training
  • Examples of training sessions for each training method

Unit 4 – Planning Training and Fitness Programmes

  • Physiological and psychological benefits of warming up
  • Cool down – reasons why it is important
  • Phases of a warm up:- body temperature raising, stretching and skill development
  • Planning a training programme
  • Applying the SPORT and FITT principles of training
  • Periodisation – off season, pre season, peak season and transitional period
  • Planning a training session:- warm up, main activity and cool down
  • Examples of training programmes and sessions

Unit 5 – Factors affecting Sporting Performance

  • Factors affecting sporting performance: Age, Gender, Personality, Lifestyle, Environment, Injury, Illness, Diet, Body Type and Drugs
  • Social Drugs:- how smoking and alcohol affect sporting performance
  • Other social drugs and their effect on sporting performance
  • Types of performance enhancing drugs
  • Examples and effects of performance enhancing drugs
  • Blood doping

Unit 6 – Safety in Sport

  • How to prevent injury:- environment, clothing and equipment, fair competition, obeying the rules and warm up and cool down
  • Causes of sports injuries
  • Accidental injuries, overuse injuries, chronic injuries
  • Examples of sports injuries:- soft tissue, skin and Hard tissue injuries
  • Injuries, symptoms and treatment
  • RICE procedure
  • More serious injuries
  • Assessing the casualty’s condition DRACB
  • How to treat an unconscious casualty
  • Emergency action plan
  • Other conditions that can influence sports performance

Unit 7 – Diet and Nutrition

  • A balanced diet
  • The essential groups of nutrients
  • Macronutrients and Micronutrients
  • Diet and exercise
  • The importance of each nutrient for exercise
  • Energy and diet:- metabolic rate and physical activity level
  • Energy in food
  • Energy equations
  • The athletes diet:- day of competition, after the event and Glycogen loading
  • Common eating disorders
  • Healthy eating
  • Food pyramids
  • Examples of diets

Unit 8 – Body systems and the skeletal system

  • Outline of the different body systems
  • The human skeleton
  • Functions of the skeleton: Ossification
  • Cartilage
  • Types of bone
  • The skeletal frames:- axial and appendicular
  • Exercise and the bones
  • Definitions of fixed, slightly movable and synovial joints
  • A typical synovial joint structure
  • Movement patterns at synovial joints
  • How exercise can help improve the skeletal system

Unit 9 – The muscular system

  • Functions of muscles
  • Types of muscle tissue
  • Skeletal muscles – structure and functions
  • Muscular contractions:- isotonic, isometric and isokinetic
  • How muscles are attached to bones
  • Muscle fibres: slow and fast twitch
  • Characteristics of muscle fibres and exercises they relate to
  • Major muscles in the human body:- location and function
  • Exercises to strengthen the muscles
  • Benefits of warming up the muscles

Unit 10 – The Cardiovascular System

  • Parts of the body that make up the Cardiovascular System
  • Functions of the Cardiovascular System
  • The double pumping action of the heart
  • Pulmonary circulation
  • Systemic circulation
  • Structure of the heart
  • Blood flow through the heart
  • How does the heart pump blood
  • Blood vessels:- arteries, veins and capillaries
  • The heart and exercise
  • Heart rate measuring the pulse
  • What happens to our Cardiovascular System when we exercise
  • Long term effects of training on the Cardiovascular System
  • Components and functions of blood
  • The blood and exercise
  • Blood Pressure measuring Blood Pressure
  • Factors affecting Blood Pressure

Unit 11 – The Respiratory System

  • Structure of the Respiratory System
  • How air passes through the body
  • Pulmonary ventilation
  • The mechanics of breathing
  • Inspiration and expiration
  • How we get oxygen to the working muscles
  • External respiration
  • Internal respiration
  • Capacity for exchanging gases
  • The Respiratory System as we exercise

Unit 12 – The Digestive System

  • What is digestion?
  • Energy molecules in food
  • Chemical digestion
  • Physical digestion
  • The digestive process
  • Parts of the Digestive System and their functions
  • What is an enzyme
  • Food enzymes
  • Digestive enzymes
  • The Digestive System and exercise

Unit 13 – The Nervous System

  • Basic functions of the Nervous System
  • Parts of the Nervous System
  • The Central Nervous System – parts of the brain
  • The Spinal Cord
  • The Peripheral Nervous System:- Sympathetic and Autonomic Nervous Systems
  • Reflex actions and conditioned reflexes
  • Receptor organs
  • The Nervous System and Sport

Unit 14 – The Endocrine System

  • Hormones
  • Hormone producing organs and body parts
  • The Endocrine System and exercise

Unit 15 – Stress and Anxiety in Sport

  • Defining Anxiety – Cognitive and Somatic
  • Types of Anxiety
  • Anxiety and Sport
  • Stress
  • The causes of Stress
  • Symptoms of Stress
  • Stress management
  • Stress management techniques

Who is this course for?

This course would suit someone who wants to work in the health and fitness industry, but currently lacks the basic underpinning knowledge to get started.


There are no formal requirements for this course.

Career path

Students who pass this course will possess the knowledge and understanding to pursue further qualifications in this field, and eventually work in the industry as a health/fitness advisor or instructor.

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