Fitness Facts You Should Know
Fitness Fact 1. Studies have suggested that walking at a brisk pace
for three or more hours a week can reduce your risk for coronary heart
disease by 65 percent.
Fitness Fact 2. About 25 percent of American adults — and an even
greater percentage of women — are sedentary. After age 44, upwards of 30
percent of women are sedentary, and by age 65, the proportion increases
to almost 35 percent. By the time they reach age 75, about 50 percent
of all women are sedentary.
Fitness Fact 3. Only about 22 percent of American adults engage in
regular, sustained physical activity for at least 30 minutes five times a
week, and only 15 percent exercise both regularly and vigorously.
Fitness Fact 4. No matter how poor your current level of fitness, you
can start an exercise routine and become fitter and healthier. Even
90-year-old women who use walkers have been shown in studies to benefit
from light weight training.
Fitness Fact 5. Simply adding movement into your daily routine can
increase your level of fitness. For example, if you park in the last row
of the parking lot and walk briskly five minutes each way between your
office and your car, walk up and down the stairs at your office during
your 10-minute afternoon coffee break, and walk the dog for 10 minutes
when you get home, you've racked up 30 minutes of exercise for the day.
Fitness Fact 6. Women with heart disease or arthritis actually
experience improved daily function from involvement in various modes of
Fitness Fact 7. Fitness consists of four components: your body's
ability to use oxygen as a source of energy, which translates into
cardiovascular fitness; muscular strength and endurance; flexibility; and body
Fitness Fact 8. To address all the components of fitness, an exercise
program needs to include aerobic exercise, which is continuous
repetitive movement of large muscle groups that raises your heart rate; weight
lifting or strength training; and flexibility exercises or stretching.
Fitness Fact 9. Walking at a brisk pace (a 15-minute mile or 4 mph)
burns almost as many calories as jogging for the same distance. The
benefit of jogging is that it takes less time to cover the same distance
and it benefits the bones; however, it may be too strenuous for some.
Fitness Fact 10. It takes about 12 weeks after starting an exercise
program to see measurable changes in your body. However, before 12
weeks, you will notice an increase in your strength and endurance.
Copyright 2003 National Women's Health Resource Center, Inc.