The benefits and principles of hardening

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The benefits and principles of hardeningHardening is an important component of physical culture, along with such components as personal hygiene, a set of physical exercises, and amateur sports.

In the process of hardening, not only the thermoregulation systems are improved, but also a number of other functional systems of the body (cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous systems, blood system, immunity, etc.). Therefore, hardened people not only get sick less, they constantly feel good health, mood, vigor.

Hardening in the physical education system

People have been using various hardening procedures for a long time. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, hardening was an integral part of the entire system of physical education. Russian soldiers bathing in icy water amazed foreigners back in the days of Peter I. The great Russian commander A.V. Suvorov was a rather weak and sickly child, but thanks to systematic training he was able to temper his body so much that even in severe frosts he did not wear fur clothes , every day in the morning he doused himself with two buckets of ice water. A. Pushkin was systematically tempered, bathed in the river until late autumn, and in the winter in the morning he took a bath with ice (remember his poetic lines: "Russian cold is good for my health", "Our strengthening frost is useful for Russian health"). Academician I.P. Pavlov swam in the Neva until the river freezes. Artist I.E.Repin slept all year round in an unglazed and unheated bedroom.

Remarkable examples of hardening were shown by Soviet soldiers during the Great Patriotic War. In the literature, there are descriptions of feats, the performance of which was largely facilitated by the high degree of hardening of the soldiers. This quality of Soviet soldiers was demonstrated with great artistic persuasiveness by A.T. Tvardovsky in the collective image of the hero-soldier Vasily Terkin.

The task of hardening youth is becoming especially important today in connection with the widespread economic development of new territories, which until recently were considered unsuitable for human activity due to their extremely harsh natural conditions. There is a movement of large masses of the population to the regions of the North and the Far East, where a person is sometimes exposed to strong cooling, which can lead to the loss of his health. Conversely, in areas with a hot climate, a person needs to be prepared for overheating through the systematic use of thermal procedures (hardening by the sun, regular baths, etc.).

Physiological mechanisms of hardening

Hardening is one of the forms of adaptation (adaptation of the body to the effects of unfavorable environmental factors). Since among all the negative factors of the natural environment, the population of our country is most often exposed to hypothermia and colds, adaptation to this effect is of particular practical importance.

The benefits and principles of hardeningThe very word "hardening" in relation to the human body began to be used relatively recently. It was first introduced at the end of the last century by Academician I.R. Tarkhanov, who compared the hardening of steel by intensive cooling and hardening of the body with cold procedures.

It is known that animal organisms can adapt to cold conditions in various ways. For example, some animals have a thick heat-insulating fat layer (whales, seals), while others have such reliable fur protection (arctic fox, polar bear) that even at -40 ° C they do not show signs of hypothermia.Some northern peoples adapt to the cold with the help of appropriate living conditions (special clothing, dwellings, food habits, etc.).

However, the essence of "hardening" is to train the physiological mechanisms of the body's thermoregulation and increase immunity. The fact is that our body gives off more than 90% of its heat from the surface of the skin. When a person is hot, the skin vessels dilate, blood flow increases, the skin turns red, warms up. Heat transfer from the body surface is enhanced. In the case of cooling, on the contrary, the skin vessels contract, the skin turns pale, becomes cold, heat transfer from the body surface decreases, but heat is retained inside the body (of course, up to certain limits).

Another mechanism is a change in the intensity of sweating. When the body overheats, the intense secretion and evaporation of sweat promotes heat transfer and cooling of the body. In cold conditions, sweating stops. These are the main mechanisms of thermoregulation (physical thermoregulation).

Another mechanism is that when the body is cooled, the metabolism increases (chemical thermoregulation), there is an increased generation of heat, which, as it were, heats up the body from the inside, prevents it from hypothermia. It should be pointed out that physical thermoregulation is more perfect, as it is accompanied by a more economical expenditure of the body's energy resources.

The benefits and principles of hardeningThanks to the training of thermoregulatory mechanisms by hardening, the body's ability to withstand strong temperature fluctuations in the environment increases. The leading role in this belongs to the central nervous system, which determines the level of activity of the processes of physical and chemical thermoregulation.

In the process of hardening, a complex complex of restructuring of functional capabilities, morphological structures at different levels (cellular, systemic, etc.) occurs in the body. Timely and adequate reaction of these mechanisms allows to prevent hypothermia of the internal environment of the body, even with a very high cooling capacity of the environment. For example, in the experiments of A. Nazarov, when dogs were immersed in cold water (+ 10 ° C) for 10 minutes, their rectal temperature decreased by 6 ° C during the first procedures, and after 6-7 dives, the decrease did not exceed 0.3 ° C.

At the same time, there is a high specificity of hardening only to the acting agent (A.A.Minkhg, M.E. Marshak). I.M.Sarkizov-Serazini wrote:

The body is able to adapt to certain types of temperature stimuli. The systematic use of a particular stimulus increases resistance to the selected stimulus. Repeated actions with cold adapt the body to this type of stimulus. Repeated thermal actions develop adaptations to high temperatures. In the first case, we can talk about increasing resistance to cold and decreasing resistance to heat, in the second case, vice versa. Thus, the body adapts only to the stimulus that previously acted on it many times.

At the same time, there is convincing evidence that most climatic factors, despite their physical heterogeneity, do not have the character of specific stimuli, and with a sufficiently long exposure to the factor, adaptation occurs due to an increase in tissue resistance at the cellular and subcellular levels.

Basic principles of hardening

Hardening is advisable to carry out in conditions approaching everyday life conditions. It is advisable to combine hardening with outdoor sports. Classes in closed rooms do not give the desired effect. Soviet researcher I.M.Sarkizov-Serazini wrote:

Through all kinds of indoor physical exercise, athletes can be created, but healthy people cannot be created.

For the purpose of hardening, the physical properties of natural factors (air, water, sun) are most often used.

The benefits and principles of hardeningA number of rules (principles) are general and mandatory for any type of hardening. The basic principles are as follows:

  1. Taking into account the state of health of those involved (the intensity and mode of the recommended procedures depend on this).
  2. Gradualness. Hardening should start with small loads on the body, only gradually increasing them. Since the initial level of hardening of the general state of people's health varies in a very wide range, it is necessary to avoid overdose of procedures at the very beginning of classes. It is very important to remember this when carrying out group hardening (especially in children's groups). At the initial stage of training, it is better to play it safe, but not to overload.
    It is possible to increase the cold load on the body in two ways: by increasing the exposure to the stimulus or by increasing its intensity. In the first case, heat loss and cooling of the body will increase, in the second, an increase in heat loss is combined with an increase in irritation of the receptor apparatus.
    Speaking about a gradual increase in loads, it should be remembered that hardening is based on reflex activity, starting with irritation of skin receptors, and not on the degree of cooling of the body (that is, the number of calories lost).
    Consequently, for hardening purposes, an increase in the strength of the stimulus with a relatively short exposure will be a more effective way of increasing the thermal load (although the exposure can also be lengthened in the future). Exposure prolongation is also used when there is no way to increase the strength of the stimulus.
  3. Consistency. For effective hardening, exposure to a specific stimulus must be repeated often and regularly. Reception of hardening procedures should be carried out daily, at least every other day. More rare procedures are ineffective.
    The termination of hardening procedures for a long time leads to a gradual attenuation of reflexes and the disappearance of hardening. NI Bobrov noted the complete disappearance of reactions among the sailors of the Northern Fleet in 1.5 months after the termination of the hardening procedures.
    Therefore, in case of a forced break in hardening (due to illness or other reasons), one should start again with lighter procedures than at the time of termination.
  4. The combination of various means and methods of hardening expands the range of adaptive reactions of the body, increases its nonspecific resistance. A variety of physical factors affecting hardening involves a wider range of functional systems and organs in the adaptation process. Therefore, it is advisable to combine hardening with sun, air and water.
  5. Correct dosage of procedures. The available hardening schemes cannot take into account the whole variety of individual characteristics of the organism and are only indicative. The main criterion to be guided by is the state of health and some other indicators (sleep, appetite, performance), which are easily assessed by the student himself.
  6. Self-control of those involved in order to correct and improve the efficiency of hardening.

Tikhomirov I.I.

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