GO Functional Improvement & Tourism (GO FIT) course

The GO Functional Improvement & Tourism (GO FIT) course, which is spread out in 12 lectures,  addresses the gap in learning programs between Higher Education Institution’s exercise and health experts with both educational and clinical expertise, in collaboration with tourism specialists. So, the GO FIT course is designed to develop a new learning program with transdisciplinary approach for exercise, health and tourism experts, to achieve relevant and high-quality skills and competences in designing the appropriate program for tourists and helping them to adopt a new healthy lifestyle.


Vacations always bring in mind a relaxing aquatic environment since in many occasions tourists prefer to spend their holidays either in a destination next to a beach or to a hotel with a swimming pool. These same aquatic destinations can be used effectively in the context of athletic tourism from the part of the exercise trainers in order to design exercise programs for tourists that will offer them experiences that will be both enjoyable and healthy. Taking advantage of this unique possibility, this lecture is focused on designing effective exercise programs in the water, analyzing the particularities of the aquatic environment (i.e. buoyancy, drag, viscosity, fluid resistance, hydrostatic pressure and water temperature) that can substantially affect each exercise. Additionally, the use of aquatic equipment is discussed, giving the opportunity to the exercise trainers to gain a deeper understanding on the many possibilities of its use, and being, thus, able to design and guide various exercise programs with many different props according to their goals.




Lecture 2

Expanding the knowledge gained at the first lecture, this second lecture is focused in the presentation of exercises that can be performed in a shallow and deep pool. Exercise goals are analyzed, such as improving mobility, strength, stability and functionality. The proper technique of performing the exercises and the points to be paid attention to are also described in detail.




Lecture 3

Taking into account that massage is widely accepted as a way to relieve stress and to relax the body and mind, and recognizing its potential benefits for tourists, the third  lecture is dedicated to its incorporation in the athletic schedule of tourists, through a relaxing type of exercise training that it is called Self Myofascial Release (SMR). SMR is a type of self-massage that it is performed using specialized devices like foam rollers, roller massagers and mini balls and it targets the so-called myofascia. In this lecture the primary goals of SMR, its beneficial effects on the musculoskeletal system and the way of designing an effective, relaxing and enjoyable session for tourists through various exercises are analyzed in depth.




Lecture 4

Similarly to the third lecture, the fourth lecture is again dedicated to myofascia, providing additional information on the theoretical foundation in which myofascial training is based: it is explained what is fascia, how is a healthy fascia and which are the properties of myofascia that can be managed through exercise in order to improve fascial fitness (i.e. elasticity, viscosity and plasticity). Additionally, taking into account that the majority of the working population suffer or are in danger of presenting a chronic musculoskeletal/myofascial dysfunction and considering that tourists are not expected to be an exception to this rule, this lecture provides additional information on ways of effectively improving the fascia of chronic pain patients who present common myofascial problems (e.g. in the low back and/or hips).




Lecture 5

This lecture discusses clinical exercise physiology and obesity. It analyzes the definition, pathophysiology, clinical considerations, exercise testing, general options of the treatment, treatment goals and guidelines of exercise prescription for metabolic syndroms.




Lecture 6

Having analyzed effective ways of resolving myofascial problems in the low back and in the hips in lecture 4, lecture 6 focuses on chronic upper spinal pain (i.e. neck and upper back pain) completing the picture about spine dysfunctions. This lecture goes a step further, introducing into the discussion how the implications of the various musculoskeletal problems affect daily life and discussing the psychological explanations of musculoskeletal disorders. Taking into account that tourists who present various musculoskeletal problems (due also to their demanding working schedules) are expected to be more relaxed during their vacations, this lecture provides feedback on how to effectively manage these problems from a psychological point of you.




Lecture 7

This lecture focuses in the anatomy of the spine, presenting the spinal muscles and their categories and also discusses the most recent concepts on functional movement and its integration in an exercise program for the prevention and the rehabilitation of spine dysfunctions. It presents and analyzes the local musculature system, the local muscle system dysfunctions, the core stabilizers and the global muscles. It also includes an intervention program for a functional spine designed for the “Go Fit” project in order to provide the exercise trainers with a protocol suitable to be applied in tourists who are on vacation.




Lecture 8

Considering that tourists desire, in most of the cases, to relax both physically and mentally during their holidays and also to experience new challenges, this lecture was designed in order to give a paradigm of mind-body exercise programs that go beyond the traditional way of working-out. For this reason Tai Chi and Qi Gong were selected as interesting forms of holistic exercise programs. The lecture functions as an introduction to Tai Chi and Qi Gong, explaining what they are, what physiological effects they have at the body, how they can be used in order to increase the quality of life etc. It also includes exercises from both disciplines, and modifications of exercises that can be used for rehabilitation purposes.




Lecture 9

This lecture aims to provide feedback to exercise trainers on how to effectively inspire the tourists to be adherent and compliant to the exercise programmes not only during the period of vacations and athletic tourism but also when returning to their everyday reality. It discusses affective responses to exercise and the affect of physical activity in people lives. The inverted U model, the circumplex model of affect and the dual mode theory are also analyzed.




Lecture 10

Keeping in mind that athletic tourism offers an excellent possibility not only to keep tourists active during their vacations but also to help them adopt a lifelong healthy lifestyle, this lecture discusses fitness over fatness, explaining the importance of exercise and physical fitness for a healthy life. It presents the detrimental effects of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors on health, and based also, on various epidemiological data, it shows how does exercise make a difference.




Lecture 11

Vacations are many times seen as a break from the daily eating habits and as an opportunity to taste new kind of meals in new places. Taking advantage of this reality, this lecture discusses the psychology of food choice. Some of the subject matters covered include data from descriptive studies and explanation of the developmental and psycho-physiological models of eating behavior. The importance of food labelling is also analyzed aiming to provide the tourists with valuable knowledge on how they will be able to adopt a healthier lifestyle based on balanced diet and good nutrition.



Lecture 12

This lecture discusses the various possibilities offered by the concept of athletic tourism for the incorporation of physical activity and exercise during holidays. It presents different options of athletic activities that can also vary according to the holiday destination and it also offers feedback on how to choose hotels with good training possibilities.



“This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”