Best Body Exercises To Do At Home
Physical activity is essential to health and confers wide-ranging health benefits, but exercise is necessary to significantly improve physical fitness. This important distinction between physical activity, which improves health and wellness, and exercise, which improves fitness, is a key concept in understanding the guidelines discussed in this section.
Increasing Physical Activity to Improve Health and Wellness In 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, Midcourse Report, following up their landmark 2008 report, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which made specific recommendations for promoting exercise and health. Also, in 2011 the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) released its exercise guidelines for healthy adults:
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“Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise.” (You can read these reports at http://www.health .gov/paguidelines and http://www.acsm.org/access-public -information/position-stands.) These reports stress the importance of regular physical activity and emphasize that some physical activity is better than none. They also present evidence that regular activity promotes health and prevents premature death and a variety of diseases (Figure 2.1). The reports include the following key guidelines for adults:
• For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate-and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Activity should preferably be spread throughout the week.
• For additional and more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity activity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity. Adults can enjoy additional health benefits by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount. The Health and Retirement Study a long-term study of older adults found that people who exercised vigorously had a lower death rate than those who exercised at moderate intensities or did no physical activity. After 16 years, the survival rate was 84% in those doing vigorous exercise, 78% in those doing moderate-intensity physical activity, and only 65% in those doing no physical activity.
• Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities, such as weight training or calisthenics, that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.
• Everyone should avoid inactivity. Adults, teenagers, and children should spend less time in front of a television or computer screen because such inactivity decreases metabolic health and contributes to a sedentary lifestyle and increases the risk of obesity.
The reports state that physical activity benefits people of all ages and of all racial and ethnic groups, including people with disabilities. The reports emphasize that the benefits of activity outweigh the dangers.
These levels of physical activity promote health and wellness by lowering the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and osteoporosis and by reducing feelings of mild to moderate depression and anxiety.
What exactly is moderate physical activity? Activities such as brisk walking, dancing, swimming, cycling, and yard work can all count toward the daily total. A moderate amount of activity uses about 150 calories of energy and causes a
Examples of moderate-intensity physical activity. Each example uses about 150 calories, source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2010, Why Is Exercise Important? (www,nhlbi,nih,gov/health/public/heart/obesity/losewt/physical/htm; retrieved July 30, 2013), noticeable increase in heart rate, such as would occur with a brisk walk. Examples of activities that use about 150 calories in 15 to 60 minutes are shown in Figure 2.2. You can burn the same number of calories by doing a lower-intensity activity for a longer time or a higher-intensity activity for a shorter time. People are more likely to participate in physical activities they enjoy, such as dancing.
In contrast to moderate-intensity activity, vigorous physical activity such as jogging causes rapid breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate (Table 2.1). Physical activity and exercise recommendations for promoting general health, fitness, and weight management are shown in Table 2.2.
The daily total of physical activity can be accumulated in multiple bouts of 10 or more minutes per day for example, two 10-minute bike rides to and from class and a brisk 10-minute walk to the store. In this lifestyle approach to physical activity Body movement that is carried TERMS out by the skeletal muscles and requires energy. exercise Planned, structured, repetitive movement intended to improve or maintain physical fitness,