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HOW TO BE HEALTHY WITH MODERATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

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HOW TO BE HEALTHY WITH MODERATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY




Americans Are Not Exercising

When we go back in the Creation account in Genesis, we are reminded that mankind was made strong, flexible, and capable of performing a variety of physical activities. Genesis 2:15 (NIV) explains, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

The kind of gardening work they were to do would be brisk enough to produce sweat, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…” Genesis 3:19 (NIV)

Unfortunately Americans have become less active than ever before and as a result are more susceptible to disease and poor health.

Federal surveys reveal most Americans are completely sedentary or barely active.

About 250,000 deaths per year (12% of the total) are attributable to a lack of regular physical activity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls this “an epidemic of inactivity.”

Inactivity is as detrimental on our health as smoking or having high cholesterol levels.

Inactivity increases the risk of:

Coronary artery disease

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes

Osteoporosis

Malignancies of the colon, prostate, testicle, female reproductive tract,

breast, and other disorders

Anxiety and Depression

Why wouldn’t more Americans want to exercise?

Most Americans have been turned off by previous exercise recommendations.

They called for strenuous exercise 3-5 times per week.

Approximately 80% of the population never achieved that level of activity.

The new 1992 guidelines are realistic and adequate

As science has learned more about exercise, fewer of the old hard-and-fast rules apply. Fitness experts reviewed dozens of studies and concluded that 30 minutes a day of any moderate-level physical activity is adequate to stay healthy.

Moderate Exercise Guidelines:

Needs to be most every day.

Can accumulate throughout the day

Should total 30 minutes

What benefits can you expect from moderate exercise?

Increases energy, endurance, flexibility, and muscle strength

Reduces stress

Reduces the risk of cancer

Reduces the risk or severity of chronic illnesses

(Protects against colds, coughs, flu)

Strengthens the immune system

Burns excess calories, makes for a trimmer physique

Lowers insulin requirements

Lowers blood pressure

Lowers cholesterol

Lowers resting heart rate and improves circulation

Improves sense of well-being (mood)

Improves quality of sleep

Improves appetite control

Improves calcium storage and bone density

**One study of 7,000 men found that more miles of exercise completed each week resulted in higher average levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind, which lowers coronary artery disease).[10] Another study found a dose-response relationship between exercising 7-14 miles per week running at mild to moderate intensities with positive HDL level responses.

Can unfit older people benefit just as much as younger people?

One study compared the survival rate of men who started and maintained an exercise program, with those who never exercised. Men who were unfit but who exercised their way to good physical shape had about half the number of deaths from all causes compared to those who were persistently unfit. When only heart attack deaths were considered, the exercise benefit was even greater.

TEN YEAR EXERCISE STUDY

9,777 men, ages 20-82

What qualifies for moderate exercise?

Walking briskly at 3-4 mph, gardening, cleaning, climbing stairs, vacuuming, weeding, mowing with a push mower, golfing while carrying or pulling the clubs, canoeing, biking, hiking hills. These activities, and those listed below, are “moderate” only if they are performed at an intensity comparable to brisk walking.

How you can start and maintain your own exercise program.

Think of the acronym “EXERCISING”

Eat a good breakfast, high in carbohydrates, found in fruits and grains.

Xtra water summer and winter. Keep well hydrated.

Evaluate your program by monitoring your pulse and weight

Record keeping keeps you accountable to yourself and charts your progress

Clothing appropriate for different weather, times of day, looseness, protect limbs

and head

Introduce a plan of action (The 4-W’s: Which exercise, when, where, with who)

Stretching keeps the body limber and serves as a warm up at the beginning of

exercise

Indoor exercise, not as good as outdoors, but an option. Use shopping malls

when rainy, snowy, icy weather. (Some 2400 malls nationwide let walkers in before

shopping hours, some even have walking clubs, write: National Organization of Mall Walkers,

P.O. Box 191, Hermann, MO 65041)

New varieties of exercise, a change of the exercise route, or the time of day

Get a partner, you are twice as likely to continue one year or more

PERSONAL FITNESS & DIETARY RECORD

Day

Resting

Pulse

Type of

Exercise

Length of Exercise

Glasses

of Water

Fruits

2-4 servings

Vegetables

3-5 servings

Grains

5-11 serv.

1

2

3

4

5



6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22



23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

What is the best diet to support an exercise program?

For many years it was thought that a diet high in protein was the best compliment to an exercise program. Now we know from many studies that the body depends first and foremost on carbohydrates for its energy. In a classic study conducted by the Swedish researcher Astrand, notice how athletes responded to the three different diets used

The Astrand study demonstrated that a diet high in complex carbohydrates was the diet that sustained the athletes the longest.

MOST EFFICIENT FOOD

ENERGY SOURCE

Carbohydrates are the body’s most efficient source of energy.

The body can turn up to 100% of carbohydrate into glucose for energy,

while only 58% of protein, and 10% of fat can be turned into glucose from the available stores.

Conclusion

Most of us are not athletes, but all of us do need physical activity to keep our bodies operating at levels that will allow us to get the most out of life. Studies now make it clear that we can maintain a high quality of life by merely choosing any of a variety of moderate exercises on a most every day basis. Right now while this subject is fresh in your mind, why not review the section on “How to start and maintain your own exercise program”, and put the E.X.E.R.C.I.S.I.N.G. acronym to work for you? It will give you a life that’s worth living.

References



Consumer Reports on Health, Ibid. p.70.



University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter, Nov. 1993, p.6.

Pate, R.R., Pratt, M., et al. 1995. Physical Activity and Public Health, A recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine, JAMA, Feb 1; 273(5) :403.

Tufts Univ. Diet and Nutr. Let., July 1995, p.5; UC Berkeley, Ibid.

Pate, R.R., JAMA, Ibid.; UC Berkeley, Ibid.; Tufts Univ., Ibid.; Shephard, R.J., Shek, P.N. 1995. Cancer, Immune Function, and Physical Activity, Can J Appl Physiol Mar; 20(1) :1-25; Andersson, S.O., Baron, J., et al. 1995. Early life risk factors for prostate cancer: a population-based case-control study in Sweden. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention Apr-May;4(3) :187-192; Gallagher, R.P., Huchcroft, S., et al. 1995. Physical activity, medical history, and risk of testicular cancer, Cancer Causes Control Sep;6(5) :398-406; Albanes, D., Blair A., Taylor, P.R., 1989. Physical activity and risk of cancer in the NHANES I population. Am J Public Health, Jun;79(6) :744-50; Mettendorf, F., Longnecker, M.P., Willett, W.C., et al. 1995. Strenuous physical activity in young adulthood and risk of breast cancer. Cancer Causes Control Jul;6(4) :347-353.

UC Berkeley, Ibid.

The experts were from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American College of Sports Medicine, and The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, (July 1993).

Harvard Health Letter, Sept. 1995, p.6; UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, Mar. 1995, p.6.

UC Berkeley, Ibid.; Pate, R.R., JAMA, Ibid., p. 402; Tufts Univ., Ibid.

Pate, R.R., JAMA, Ibid., 402-404; Consumer Reports on Health, July 1993, p.69; Feb 1993, p.12,13; Shephard, R.J., Shek, P.N, Ibid.; Tufts Univ., Ibid., p.4,5.

UC Berkeley, Ibid.

Arch. Internal Measures, Feb 27, 1995, 155 :415-420.

Blair, S.N., Kohl, H.W.3rd, et al. 1995. Changes in physical fitness and all-cause mortality. A prospective study of healthy and unhealthy men. Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, Dallas, TX. JAMA Apr 12;273(414):1093-8.

Pate, R.R., JAMA, 402, 1995, quoted by Nutrition Action Healthletter, Dec 1995, p.5;Harvard Health Letter, Ibid.; Tufts Univ., Ibid. p.2-4; JAMA, Ibid. p. 404.;Consumer Reports on Health, Ibid.

Astrand, Per-Olaf, Nutrition Today 3(2) Jun 1968; Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, ed. Goodhart, R.S., Shils, M.E., 6th ed., Lea and Febiger:Philadelphia 1980, p. 825.

Harvard Health Letter, July 1995, p.2.






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