October 12, 2010

Exercise Basics

Physical activity simply means movement of the body that uses energy. For health benefits, physical activity should be moderate or vigorous and add up to at least 30 minutes a day.

Exercise can be broken into three areas:

•Aerobic activities – speeds heart rate and breathing and improves heart and lung fitness. Examples are brisk walking, jogging, and swimming.

•Resistance, strength building, and weight-bearing activities – helps build and maintain bones and muscles by working them against gravity. Examples are carrying a child, lifting weights, and walking. They help to build and maintain muscles and bones.

•Balance and stretching activities – enhances physical stability and flexibility, which reduces risk of injuries. Examples are gentle stretching, dancing, yoga, martial arts, and t’ai chi.

Here are some ideas. Pick a few and make a goal to start.(http://www.mypyramid.gov/)

Moderate physical activities include: •Walking briskly (about 3 ½ miles per hour)


•Gardening/yard work


•Golf (walking and carrying clubs)

•Bicycling (less than 10 miles per hour)

•Weight training (general light workout)

Vigorous physical activities include: •Running/jogging (5 miles per hour)

•Bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour)

•Swimming (freestyle laps)


•Walking very fast (4 ½ miles per hour)

•Heavy yard work, such as chopping wood

•Weight lifting (vigorous effort)

•Basketball (competitive)

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