activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. In combination
with healthy eating, it can help prevent a range of chronic diseases,
including heart disease, cancer, and stroke, the three leading causes of
death. Physical activity helps control weight, builds lean muscle, reduces
fat, promotes strong bone, muscle and joint development, and decreases the
risk of obesity.
slowly and add new physical activities little by little. After a few weeks
or months, do them longer and more often.
Everyday activities can add
up to an active lifestyle. You can:
Go for a brisk walk
around the neighborhood
Ride a bicycle
In this kind of physical
activity (also called an endurance activity or cardio
activity), the body's large muscles move in a rhythmic manner for a
sustained period of time. Brisk walking, running, bicycling, jumping rope,
and swimming are all examples.
Aerobic activity causes a
person's heart to beat faster than usual.
Aerobic physical activity
has three components:
or how hard a person works to do the activity. The intensities most
often examined are moderate intensity (equivalent in effort to brisk
walking) and vigorous intensity (equivalent in effort to running or
or how often a person does aerobic activity; and
or how long a person does an activity in any one session.
Although these components
make up a physical activity profile, research has shown that the total
amount of physical activity (minutes of moderate–intensity physical
activity, for example) is more important for achieving health benefits
than is any one component (frequency, intensity, or duration).
This kind of activity,
which includes resistance training and lifting weights,
causes the body's muscles to work or hold against an applied force or
weight. These activities often involve relatively heavy objects, such as
weights, which are lifted multiple times to train various muscle groups.
Muscle-strengthening activity can also be done by using elastic bands or
body weight for resistance (climbing a tree or doing push-ups, for
activity also has three components:
or how much weight or force is used relative to how much a person is
able to lift;
or how often a person does muscle strengthening activity; and
or how many times a person lifts a weight (analogous to duration for
aerobic activity). The effects of muscle-strengthening activity are
limited to the muscles doing the work. It's important to work all the
major muscle groups of the body: the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest,
shoulders, and arms.
This kind of activity
(sometimes called weight-bearing or weight-loading activity) produces a
force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength. This force is
commonly produced by impact with the ground. Examples of
bone-strengthening activity include jumping jacks, running, brisk walking,
and weight-lifting exercises. As these examples illustrate,
bone-strengthening activities can also be aerobic and muscle
The Health Benefits of
Studies clearly demonstrate
that participating in regular physical activity provides many health
benefits. These benefits are summarized in the accompanying table. Many
conditions affected by physical activity occur with increasing age, such
as heart disease and cancer. Reducing risk of these conditions may require
years of participation in regular physical activity. However, other
benefits, such as increased cardiorespiratory fitness,
increased muscular strength, and decreased depressive symptoms and blood
pressure, require only a few weeks or months of participation in physical
Calorie Use Chart
The chart below shows the
approximate calories spent per hour by a 100-, 150- and 200- pound person
doing a particular activity.
Bicycling, 6 mph
Bicycling, 12 mph
Jogging, 7 mph
Running 5.5 mph
Running, 10 mph
Swimming, 25 yds/min
Walking, 2 mph
Walking, 3 mph
Walking, 4.5 mph
To Healthy Eating and Physical Activity For You
Start your day
Breakfast fills your "empty tank" to get you going after a long night
without food. And it can help you do better in school. Easy to prepare
breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat
toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even
last night's pizza!
It's easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk,
bike or jog to see friends. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour
while you read, do homework or watch TV. Climb stairs instead of taking
an escalator or elevator. Try to do these things for a total of 30
minutes every day.
Snacks are a great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food
groups - a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or
celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, or some dry cereal. If you
eat smart at other meals, cookies, chips and candy are OK for occasional
Work up a sweat.
Vigorous work-outs - when you're breathing hard and sweating - help
your heart pump better, give you more energy and help you look and feel
best. Start with a warm-up that stretches your muscles. Include 20
minutes of aerobic activity, such as running, jogging, or dancing.
Follow-up with activities that help make you stronger such as push-ups
or lifting weights. Then cool-down with more stretching and deep
food choices - don't eat too much of any one thing.
You don't have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice
cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how
much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein,
carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such as
vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing
food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition
Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.
Get fit with
friends or family.
Being active is much more fun with friends or family. Encourage others
to join you and plan one special physical activity event, like a bike
ride or hiking, with a group each week.
Eat more grains,
fruits and vegetables.
These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals
and fiber. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as whole-wheat,
bagels and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain group.
Bananas, strawberries and melons are some great tasting fruits. Try
vegetables raw, on a sandwich or salad.
Join in physical
activities at school.
Whether you take a physical education class or do other physical
activities at school, such as intramural sports, structures activities
are a sure way to feel good, look good and stay physically fit.
good or bad.
A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part --
or food -- is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt
while others may have more vitamins or fiber. There is a place for all
these foods. What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together.
Balancing your choices is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like
pepperoni pizza, at dinner by choosing lower-fat foods at other meals.
And don't forget about moderation. If two pieces of pizza fill you up,
you don't need a third.
eating and physical activities fun!
Take advantage of physical activities you and your friends enjoy doing
together and eat the foods you like. Be adventurous - try new sports,
games and other activities as well as new foods. You'll grow stronger,
play longer, and look and feel better! Set realistic goals - don't try
changing too much at once.
Why is it
important to reach a healthier weight?
Reaching and maintaining a healthier weight is important for your overall
health and well being. If you are significantly overweight, you have a
greater risk of developing many diseases including high blood pressure,
Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer. For obese adults, even
losing a few pounds or preventing further weight gain has health benefits.
How can I move toward a healthier weight?
Reaching a healthier weight is a balancing act. The secret is learning how
to balance your “energy in” and “energy out” over the long run.
“Energy in” is the calories from the foods and beverages you have each
day. “Energy out” is the calories you burn for basic body functions and
Look at this chart to find where your energy balance is:
Data compiled from The
British Antarctic Study, NASA, Environment Canada, UNEP, EPA and
other sources as stated and credited Researched by Charles
Welch-Updated daily This Website is a project of the The Ozooe Hole