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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Sunday, July 5, 2009

How Fitness Savvy Are You?

     How much do you know about living a healthy lifestyle?  Grab a pencil and a piece of paper and take my quiz below to test your knowledge.  Answers and explanations are found at the bottom of the posting.

1.  If you are naturally thin, you are already healthy and do not 
     need to exercise.
a.  True
b.  False

2.  If you exercise regularly you do not need to be careful about
      what you eat or the amount of food you consume.
a.  True
b.  False

3.  What is the best type of exercise to do?
a.  Calisthenics only
b.  Strength training only
c.  A combination of aerobic, strength, flexibility, and 
      balance exercises
d.  Mind/body exercises only

4.  How can you tell if you are exercising at an appropriate 
      intensity level?
a.  You can barely catch your breath
b.  When your muscles start to "burn"
c.  When you are sweating profusely
d.  When you are breathing harder but can still carry 
      on a conversation

5.  You only need to strength train if you want to get "buff."
a.  True
b.  False

6.  When you perform strength training exercises, how should 
      you breathe?
a.  Inhale as you lift the weight and exhale as you lower 
     the weight
b.  Hold your breath because strength training is an anaerobic 
      activity and so you do not need oxygen to perform it
c.  It doesn't matter, just breath how you want
d.  Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower 
     the weight

7.  An example of weight-bearing exercises include all of the 
      following except...
a.  Bicycling
b.  Running
c.  Jumping rope
d.  Walking

8.  It doesn't matter if your HDL levels are low, total cholesterol 
      is the only value you need to be concerned about.
a.  True
b.  False

9.  To get health benefits from exercise, you need to...
a.  Perform 5 minutes of gardening a day
b.  Engage in at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity 
     exercise per week or at least 75-150 minutes of 
     vigorous-intensity physical activity per week
c.  You do not need to exercise you just have to eat 
     right to be healthy
d.  Exercise as hard as you can for as long as you can

10.  Exercise can help you to sleep better.
a.  True
b.  False


1.  b, False:  Exercise provides many health benefits independent of weight loss, such as a decreased risk for all-cause mortality and chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.  In fact, individuals who are overweight but regularly exercise are healthier than thin, inactive individuals.  For more information on the health benefits of exercise refer to my March 5, 2009  post "Why Exercise?".

2. b, False:  Exercise and diet go hand-in-hand to promote health.  A diet too high in fat, especially saturated fat, can lead to abnormally high cholesterol levels and an increased risk for a heart attack and stroke.  A high fat diet can also increase your risk for certain cancers, such as colon and breast cancer.  Consuming more calories than you expend will lead to weight gain.

3.  c:  A combination of exercises that includes aerobic activity (e.g. walking), strength training (e.g. weight machines), flexibility (e.g. stretching), and balance (e.g. use of wobble board or BOSU Sport Balance Trainer) is best.  Each type provides important health benefits that can  improve quality of life, preserve functional ability, and promote independence.

4.  d:  In the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the federal government states that a good gauge of how hard you are exercising is to perform the "talk test."  While performing moderate-intensity activity your breathing rate will be noticeably increased, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation, but not sing.  When engaging in vigorous-intensity exercise, you can only speak a few words before needing to take a breath.  If you are gasping for air, the intensity is too high.

5.  b, False:  Resistance training has many health benefits besides building muscle tissue and strength.  Research has shown that it can decrease body fat percentage, increase basal metabolic rate, promote bone health (decrease risk for osteoporosis), and reduce the risk for lower back pain.

6.  d:  Holding your breath while lifting the weight (exerting force) can compromise safety.  Known as the Valsalva maneuver, this technique can result in a dangerously rapid rise and fall in blood pressure which can lead to dizziness, abnormal heart beat or fainting.  To avoid the Valsalva maneuver, you should exhale as you lift the weight (when contracting the muscle).

7.  a:  Weight-bearing exercises require you to support your own body weight while you move your body against gravity.  While bicycling, your body weight is supported by the bike.  Therefore, it is considered a non-weight-bearing activity.

8.  b, False:  HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, is considered the "good cholesterol."  It carries the "bad cholesterol" (LDL, or low-density-lipoprotein) away from the arteries preventing plaque build-up.  High levels (60 mg/dl or higher) have a protective effect against heart disease.  Low levels (less than 40 mg/dl for men and less than 50 mg/dl for women) increase your risk for heart disease.

9.  b:  In the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the federal government recommends a minimum of 150-300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise (e.g. walking at a 3 mph pace) or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week (e.g. running at a 6 mph pace) to obtain health benefits. 

10. a, True:  Regular exercise can help you to fall asleep sooner and to experience a deeper sleep.

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