Muscles are a critical part of human body accounting for more than 40% of the total body mass. It plays a vital role in facilitating movements and in effect is the place where a large proportion of metabolism takes place in the body. Therefore, well-developed and strong muscles are a desire of every human being because out of it, the performance of daily activities such as movements and sports will be accomplished with great ease. Further, such muscles enhance the looks and improve the overall wellbeing of an individual. Muscle strength is a measure of the amount of force that a muscle can generate from one maximum effort and it may be achieved through either resistance training or weight training. On the other hand, the well-being that is achieved through muscle strength training may as well be found through contact sports activities such as playing football, hockey. The focus of this article is to determine which of the two methods is the most appropriate for keeping the children active and as a result is healthy yet with adequate muscular strength. In doing this, the benefits and hazards associated with the two methods are evaluated with a view to identifying the most suitable one.
Resistance training is the exercise that helps in building muscles by way of routinely subjecting the body to resistance. It is considered a resistance because it uses the body weight to build muscles. Apart from the obvious objective of achieving stronger muscles, resistance strength training is undertaken to enhance performance in sports, reduce chances of injury, enhance recovery from injury and promote the long-term health status. Just like other physical activities, resistance training is beneficial in enhancing other wellness indices such as physiological composition, cardiovascular fitness, mental strength, lipid profiles in blood and bone-mineral density ( Guy & Micheli, 2001) . One study has shown that there is an evident increase in overall function, mental wellness, and muscle strength among the children living with cerebral palsy subjected to resistance training program ( Faigenbaum, 2000; Stricker, 2002). Similarly, overweight children benefit from resistance training by increasing their metabolic rate in weight-control programs without necessarily subjecting them to high impact. Another notable benefit of resistance training is the decrease in risk of injury because there is minimal impact and the resistance is limited by the weight of an individual. Notwithstanding the aforementioned benefits, resistance training has potential hazards outlined here below.
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Potential Hazards in Resistance Training
One of the potential hazards associated with resistance training is the potential injuries. These injuries are related to the wrong use of strength –training equipment. A majority of these hazards are caused by failure to follow the appropriate instruction in the use of the equipment. Between 40 to 70 percentages of these injuries are muscle strains at the upper trunk, low back or the hands. However, when adequately supervised, the unsafe behaviors and conditions can be controlled.
Studies have shown that, notwithstanding the potential muscle strains, strength training does not have evident adverse effects on cardiovascular system, growth plates or linear growth. It is noteworthy that resistance training does not favor individuals with pre-existing conditions such as blood pressure and other cardiac problems require caution in approaching strength training. The cardiotoxic effects of these medications make the youth vulnerable to acute congestive problems because of the oxygen demands during resistance training exercise. Thus the most outstanding disadvantages to resistance training relate to the potential injuries which would arise from wrong use training equipment and pre-existing cardiovascular conditions which limit supply of oxygen.
On the other hand contact sport is another way of promoting physical wellness through a contest with other participants, whereby there is an involuntary bodily contact. Depending on the pace of motion and the manner in which players collide, the impact can lead to severe injuries. Some of the contact sports, which most young people participate in include football, hockey, basketball, and soccer among others. The excitement and energy expended in these contact sports make them popular in elementary and high schools. Unlike resistance training, contact sports require more than one player to make it happen. This type of physical activity bears several positive impacts as well as some drawbacks, which discourage some parents from allowing their children to participate in contact sports.
The benefits of allowing children to participate in contact sports are multifaceted ranging from physical, social and physiological developments. It fosters intense physical activity which demands expenditure of a lot of energy. In effect, organized sport helps in breaking the unending cycle unhealthy sedentary lifestyle by promoting expenditure of calories. Physical activity which comes about from organized sports among the young people has been noted to improve academic achievement, reduces psychological dysfunction and decreases risks of lifestyle diseases. In shaping the interpersonal skills and behavior, participation in contact sports requires constant practice sessions which reduce exposure to such ills as robbery and drug abuse. In summary, the physical benefits of contact sports relate to increasing in health and cardiovascular conditioning, decrease in obesity risk, improvement in self-image and other life skills. However, there are apparent potential hazards, which come from participation in contact sports among the young people as outlined here.
Contact sports pose an inherent risk of injury due to the pace and energy involved in the contest for winning opportunities. During the periods of intense growth and growth plate closure among the young athletes, vulnerability to various ranges of overuse and traumatic injuries is increased. Statistics recorded in emergency room visits indicate that there is an increase in injuries related to sports alongside the increase in participation of youth in sports. The risk of injury is greatly increased among the young people participating in contact sport because of the growth stage in their musculoskeletal structure. The rapid expansion in the bones and slow muscle elongation caused tension to develop across the joints, apophyges, and growth plates. These attributes make them vulnerable to injury during participation in a contact sport. Further, the young people who participate in contact sport are at an enhanced risk of concussions, degenerative brain illness and CTE which are occasioned by knocks, and blows to the head ( Schatz & Moser, 2011; Bachynski & Goldberg, 2014).
The other hazards associated with the participation of the young people in contact sports relates to the fan base and stardom that follows. Some players are subjected to social pressure, anxiety, and stress.
The analyses outlined above indicate that the young people who participate in resistance training and contact sport are subjected to various risks of injuries. They are as well likely to benefit from these activities through enhanced healthy lifestyle and improvement in mental strength. Despite these similarities in potential hazards, the various risk factors are enhanced by the tender age of the young people. By considering the risks of knocks and resultant degenerative brain disease and concussions in contact sports, it is apparent that most young people would be advised to part take resistance training instead. The risk of physical injury in resistance training is apparent, and in the case of its occurrence, the impact may not be as catastrophic as those of serious knocks in contact sports. The benefits of contact sports are better than those of resistance training because they go beyond physical wellness and have a lot to do with interpersonal relationships, teamwork, and mental growth. However, the risk involved is so high that the involvement may not be worth it. Therefore, it can be concluded that a young athlete would rather participate in resistance training than in contact sports because the potential hazards associated with the earlier cannot get as bad as those related to the later.
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