Introduction to Health and Fitness
The purpose of this introduction is to give you a brief view of health and fitness today.
In addition, this intro will answer some common questions about health and fitness:
What common terms describe health and fitness?
What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
Understand the state and world statistics for fitness and health.
What are the benefits of cardiovascular and resistance training?
Common Terms used to Describe Health and Fitness
ADL aka Activities of Daily Living
The activities that we usually perform for self-care, home care, leisure and work.
These activities can include the most basic, such as getting around the house, getting up, and going to the restroom.
Even taking a shower, making your own food, cleaning up, washing the dishes, and carrying in groceries and climbing stairs.
Two-thirds of Americans over 65 need help doing everyday activities such as eating, bathing, and getting out of a chair.
We’ve known for some time that about 25% of older Americans can’t perform some activities of daily living without help. But we don’t know much about the other 75%. Are they getting along fine, or do they, too, need some help?
From the data, the researchers determined the percentage of older adults in five categories of function or adaptation:
- 31% were as mobile as they desired and performed all activities of daily living without any assistance
- 25% needed help from one or more devices, such as canes or bathroom grab bars
- 21% needed someone to help them get around or with one or more activities of daily living
- 18% said they had trouble being mobile, even with assistive devices and changes in the home
- 6% limited their activities and mobility, even with assistive devices and changes in the home((https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/two-thirds-of-seniors-need-help-doing-one-or-more-daily-activities-201312136942))
Think about these statistics. 25% of older Americans cannot perform some activities of daily living.
As a result, do not take your ability to move freely and easily for granted.
Can you believe that simple things as walking require assistance?
65 is not old, and this is one of the reasons that health and fitness is so critical.
Therefore, just to meet the demands of performing activities of daily living, you must maintain your health and fitness.
Physical activity is any body movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in a substantial increase over resting energy expenditure.
Leisure time can be used for more physical activity such as exercise, sports or hobbies.
Transportation can be a time for physical activity by walking or biking.
Occupational chores can also lead to more physical activity, depending on your occupation.
What is Exercise?
Exercise is when you plan and repeat a specific physical activity.
For example, you plan to run 30 minutes six days a week.
As such, the purpose of exercise is to condition any part of your body.
Therefore, include exercise in your day to stay mobile throughout your life.
What is Health?
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
The absence of disease or weakness is not health.
What is Physical Fitness?
Physical fitness goes beyond health.
Fitness is the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and without undue fatigue.
Because you are fit, you will have ample energy left over for leisure-time pursuits or emergencies.((https://www.fitness.gov/))
The Key 5 Components of Health and Fitness
- Cardio Fitness
- Body Composition
- Muscle Strength
- Muscle Endurance
You need a balanced exercise program to achieve health and fitness.
Your Joints are designed for Movement
You are engineered to move.
Your joints prove that you are designed to be active.
Think about the structure of your body.
Your shoulders have significant movement capability.
Flexion by moving your arms upwards over your head.
Extension by moving your arms downwards.
Horizontal movements are also possible.
Abduction – movement of your shoulders away from the center of your body.
Adduction – movement towards the center of your body.
Rotation – rotating your shoulders, towards or away from your body.
And this is just for your shoulder.
You have similar multiple joint movement capabilities for your hips:
Your elbows, knees and ankles also can perform flexion and extension, but not adduction, abduction or rotation.
Attempting to rotate your knees or ankles is what usually lands us in the hospital.
Therefore, you are not designed to sit all day.
You are built to move, so get moving!
The History of Health and Fitness
In the old days, you did not need to plan to move.
You had to move in order to eat.
Either you went foraging through the fields or forest for food or game.
Or you had to plow your field, plant seeds, take care of your crops, and harvest.
You needed to walk to wherever you wanted to go.
There were no televisions or smart phones to mesmerize you most of the day.
There were also not many processed or convenience foods.
As a result, most people were not obese.
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index over 30.
Today, a shocking 35 % of American adults are obese.
In addition, another 33% of American adults are overweight.
In total, 68% of Americans are either obese or overweight.
A hundred years ago, the only fat people were those who could afford rich foods.
Or perhaps they had servants to perform their labor.
In any case, we know that contributing factors to obesity is lack of movement and over consumption of food.
Approximately 10 percent of U.S. adults were classified as obese during the 1950s. In 2011 to 2012, however, the CDC reported approximately 35 percent of U.S. adults were obese; the prevalence of obesity among American adults has more than tripled within the last six decades.
National surveys of childhood obesity weren’t recorded before 1963; however, the rate of childhood obesity in the U.S. began to rise in the 1980s. In 1980, 7 percent of children ages 6 to 11 were obese; in 2012, the rate was nearly 18 percent. In adolescents –12 to 19 years of age– the increase in obesity rates was more striking, climbing from 5 to 21 percent during the same period.((https://www.livestrong.com/article/364363-the-history-of-obesity-in-children/))
Thirty years earlier, obesity rates were not recorded, but you can imagine that they were even less than in 1950.
Who Belonged to Gyms in 1950?
The people who joined gyms back in the 1950s had specific goals. They were not in the gym merely to move more. They were in the gym to become a bodybuilder, a powerlifter or to compete in sports or the olympics.
The gyms in the 1950s were largely attended by men, and not as frequented by women.
How the times have changed.
Both men and women join gyms, but not to become body builders.
People join gyms to get and stay healthy, to get more fit.
Because people today are so much more sedentary than previous generations, it is necessary to join a gym just to move.
Gyms are not training grounds for athletes today as much as they train people to be more healthy.
How to get ‘Fitte’ with a properly designed program
Any program that you use to get fit, should conform with the FITTE Principle.
The FITTE principle is a guide to help you configure your exercise program.
F – stands for the frequency of your program.
I – stands for the intensity of exercise. The best way to determine the right intensity is through the talk test. Holding a conversation should not be that easy. This guarantees that you are working out at a moderate intensity level.
T – stands for time, how much time that you allocate for this exercise plan. We will soon see that you want to get in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise.
T – stands for the type of exercise, whether it be walking, running, elliptical or swimming and so many other options.
E – stands for enjoyment. You have a better chance of sticking to your exercise plan if you enjoy the workout that you are doing.
The Ladder of Improving your Health and Fitness
Let’s move up the ladder of health and fitness.
If we are sick, we need to do our best to get healthy.
Health as we mentioned before is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
The absence of disease or weakness is not health.
Fitness is a level beyond health, because fitness is the ability to carry out our daily tasks with vigor and still have energy left over.
From sick –> health–> fit –> athlete.
At least, lets get health, then strive to get fit, and if possible, even become an athlete.
How do we Get Healthier?
A good place to start is with the National Recommendations for Health:
Get 150 minutes, which is 2 hours and 30 minutes every week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.
Or get 75 minutes, which is 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of vigorous-intensity cardiorespiratory exercise.
Add muscle strengthening exercises 2 times per week.
At the least, you want to exercise to avoid the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Fear is a great motivator.
We have to wake up and smell the coffee.
Exercise can help us avoid certain risk factors which are in our hands to control.
Let’s go over the American College of Sports Medicine risk factors:
ACSM risk factors for Cardiovascular Disease
Risk Factor 1 for CVD
Age is the first risk factor. This is a risk factor over which you have no control. If you are a man over the age of 45 or a woman over the age of 55, then you are at risk for cardiovascular disease.
What is your age? Make a note on a separate sheet to count up your risk factors.
Risk Factor 2 for CVD
BMI or Body Mass Index.
In general, the body mass index is a good tool to determine where your health and fitness stands.
If your BMI is over 25 , then you are overweight, but this is not yet considered a risk factor.
However, if your BMI is over 30, you are considered obese, and obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
How do you determine your BMI?
Here is the formula:
BMI = weight (kg> / height (M2)
1 kg = 2.2 lbs
1 inch = 2.5 cm’s
If your BMI is under or equal to 18.5, then you are considered underweight.
Between 18.5 and 24.9, you are considered to be normal weight.
Overweight is a BMI of 25 – 29.9.
Obesity is a BMI equal or over 30.
Let’s figure out the BMI of a 200 pound man who is 6’1″ tall.
First, convert the 200 pounds to kilograms.
Since 1k = 2.2 pounds, we have to divide the 200 pounds by 2.2.
200 divided by 2.2 = 90.7 kilograms.
6’1″ is 73 inches, and converted to cm’s is 182.5 centimeters.
182.5 centimeters is 1.825 meters.
Therefore, BMI = 90.7kg / height (1.825 squared) 0r 3.3306.
90.7 / 3.3306 = 27.23 BMI.
In this case, 27.23 is over 25 and therefore, this person who is 6’1″ and 200 pounds, is overweight.
Risk Factor 3
Waist circumference over 40 inches for a man or 35 inches for a woman is another risk factor.
The waist to hip ratio risk is over 0.95 for men and over 0.8 for women.
By the way, an estimated 35 percent of adults over 20 years of age have a BMI over 30, and are considered obese.
An estimated 68 percent of adults over 20 are either overweight or obese with a BMI over 25.
Risk Factor 4
Family history – if one of your family members have had a heart attack or stroke, this increases your risk.
Risk Factor 5
Fasting blood glucose level more than 100mg.
Risk Factor 6
A current smoker or having quit smoking within the last 6 months.
Risk Factor 7
Hypertension, more than 140mm/dcl systolic or more than 90mm/dcl diastolic.
120 over 80 is normal and any blood pressure reading which is higher, is considered pre-hypertension.
But, know that pre-hypertension is not considered a risk factor, only pre-diabetes, which is having a fasting blood glucose level over 100 and over 126 is already considered diabetes.
Risk Factor 8
LDL Cholesterol > 130
HDL Cholesterol < 40
Total Cholesterol > 200
Sedentary risk factor is not exercising at least 30 minutes at least 5 times a week.
Now you have an idea of why it is a great idea to exercise, at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes a shot.
Exercise helps both the ‘acute’ (present/now) and long term likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
Exercise can help to prevent cv disease and can help to improve cardiovascular health if cv disease is already present.