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GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY


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Being physically active is one of the most important steps that people of all ages (above 6) can take to keep obesity at bay and to improve their health. The guidelines discussed in this section help people to improve their health through appropriate physical activity. All guidelines are science-based.
The content of this section complements the content in the diet section. Physical activity guidelines and dietary guidelines together provide guidance on the importance of being physically active and eating a healthy diet to keep obesity at distance, to improve good health and reduce the risk of diseases.

Obesity, physical activity and energy balance

Overweight and obesity occur when fewer calories are expended than taken in. Clearly, two components are involved in causing obesity. One is caloric intake and the other is caloric expenditure. Caloric intake is extensively dealt in the diet part of the document. Physical activity which expends calories is thoroughly dealt in this section.
Physical activity plays a critical role in energy balance and for this reason, must be considered in controlling one’s weight. Physical activity is a critical factor in determining whether a person can maintain a healthy body weight or lose excess body weight.


Physical activity, definition: physical activity has been defined as any bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle that increases energy expenditure above a basal level.
Baseline activity, definition: an activity of daily life such as lifting light weight objects, standing, sitting and walking slowly is a baseline activity. Such activity is also referred to as light-intensity activity.
Therefore, whenever a physical activity is referred to, the reader should understand that the activity being referred to is an activity above basal level and is an activity which is not light-intense.
Physical activity generally enhances health and reduces the chances of becoming obese. Swimming, dancing, jumping rope, brisk walking, lifting weights and doing yoga are all examples of physical activity.
Please note that if you are performing only baseline activities, you are considered INACTIVE.

  • Physical activity produces long-term health benefits.
  • Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many diseases.
  • Some physical activity is better than none.
  • Both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activities should be done.
  • Health benefits of physical activity occur for everyone, including children, adolescents, adults, older adults, people with special medical conditions and people with disabilities.
  • Additional health benefits occur when physical activities are done with increased intensity, duration and frequency.
  • Only people who perform at least 2 hour and 30 minutes of physical activity per week are considered physically active and most health benefits happen to them. Additional benefits occur with increased physical activity.
  • If you are performing only baseline activities, you are considered INACTIVE

Physical activity, according to the amount, is classified into the following four types.

Type Amount of activity Comments
Inactive No activity beyond baseline
There are no health benefits. Being inactive is unhealthy.
Low Activity beyond baseline but fewer than 150 minutes a week
Some health benefits occur and low level of activity is clearly preferable to an inactive lifestyle.
Medium 150 minutes to 300 minutes a week
Substantial health benefits occur. Activity at the high end of this range has substantial and more extensive health benefits than activity at low end.
High More than 300 minutes a week
Additional health benefits occur. Current science cannot identify an upper limit of activity above which there are no additional health benefits.

Physical activity, according to the nature and purpose, is classified into two types:
Aerobic activities (also called endurance activities or cardio activities), and
Strengthening activities (also called resistance activities)
Both types need to be done either on a moderate-intensity scale or vigorous-intensity scale.
Aerobic activity: The body’s big muscles move in a rhythmic manner for a given period. Aerobic activity causes a person’s heart to beat faster than usual. Brisk walking, running, bicycling, and swimming are all examples of aerobic activities.
Strengthening activity: A strengthening activity can either strengthens muscle or bone.

  • Muscle-strengthening activity: This kind of activity causes the body's muscles to hold or work against an applied weight or force and includes resistance training and lifting weights. Muscle-strengthening activity can also be done by using elastic bands. Lifting heavy objects such as weights, climbing a tree, doing push-ups are some of the examples.
  • Bone-strengthening activity: Also called weight-bearing or weight-loading activity, this kind of activity produces a force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength. This force is commonly produced by impact with the ground. Running, brisk walking, jumping jacks and weight-lifting exercises are some of the examples. As you might have already noticed, bone-strengthening activities can also be aerobic and muscle strengthening.

Type of Physical Activity Some Examples
Moderate–intensity aerobic
• Active recreation, such as canoeing, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading • Brisk walking • Bicycle riding (stationary or road bike) • Housework and yard work, such as sweeping or pushing a lawn mower • Games that require catching and throwing, such as baseball and softball
Vigorous–intensity aerobic
• Active games involving running and chasing, such as flag football • Bicycle riding • Jumping rope • Martial arts, such as karate • Running • Sports such as soccer, ice or field hockey, basketball, swimming, tennis • Vigorous dancing • Cross-country skiing
Muscle-strengthening
• Games such as tug-of-war • Push-ups and pull-ups • Resistance exercises with exercise bands, weight machines, hand-held weights • Climbing wall • Sit-ups (curl-ups or crunches)
Bone-strengthening
• Hopping, skipping, jumping • Jumping rope • Running • Sports such as gymnast

Warming up and cooling down are essential while undertaking a physical activity. So, do add some stretching and balancing activities.

THE BOTTOMLINE IS – PHYSICAL ACTIVITY HAS MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

Below is a list of health benefits associated with physical activity.

  • Favorable body composition
  • Prevention of weight gain
  • Reduced abdominal obesity
  • Weight maintenance after weight loss
  • Weight loss when combined with reduced calorie intake
  • Better functional health
  • Better cognitive function
  • Reduced depression
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Improved cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Improved muscular fitness
  • Lower risk of early death
  • Lower risk of coronary heart disease
  • Lower risk of stroke
  • Lower risk of high blood pressure
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lower risk of metabolic syndrome
  • Lower risk of colon cancer
  • Lower risk of breast cancer
  • Lower risk of endometrial cancer
  • Lower risk of lung cancer and
  • Lower risk of hip fracture

Safety


Although several health benefits are associated with physical activity, injuries and other bad events do happen. Overheating, dehydration, injuries to bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons are some of the common injuries. The good news is that scientific evidence strongly shows that physical activity is safe for almost everyone, provided, they take steps that are proven to eliminate or reduce the risks of injuries.

  • Choose appropriate type
    Safe activities are low impact and moderately intense. Avoid collision and contact sports. Walking, brisk walking, gardening, cycling, dancing, swimming and golf are activities with lowest injury rates. The risk of injury for a particular physical activity can also differ according to the purpose of the activity. For example, bicycling for transportation or recreation leads to fewer injuries than training for and competing in bicycle races.
  • Choose right amount of activity
    If you had a past injury, you are at a risk of injuring that body part again. Performing a variety of physical activities reduces the risk of overuse injury. Increase physical activity gradually over time. Generally start with moderate-intensity aerobic activity. First, increase the number of minutes per session (duration), and number of days per week (frequency). Later, increase the intensity.
  • Use protective gear and appropriate equipment
    Using personal protective gear reduces the risk of injury. Personal protective gear is something worn by a person to protect a specific body part. Helmets, goggles, shin guards, mouth guards, eye wear, elbow and knee pads are some examples. Using appropriate sports equipment such as balls, bats and shoes can also reduce the risk of injury.
  • Select safe environments
    To help yourself stay safe, you can look for, Shock absorbing surfaces on playgrounds Well maintained playing fields without holes or obstacles Places that are well lighted, where other people are present Places with no litter Places with separation from motor vehicles such as sidewalks and walking paths

Follow these guidelines to avoid the risk of injury: Understand the risks and yet be confident that physical activity is safe for almost everyone. As some activities are safer than others, please choose appropriate activities in accordance with your fitness level. Increase physical activity gradually over time. Use protective gear and sports equipment. Select safe environment. Be sensible about when, where and how to be active. If you are a person with a medical condition, get help of a health care provider like us

Health Benefits Versus Other Reasons To Be Physically Active

Although the Guidelines focus on the health benefits of physical activity, these benefits are not the only reason why people are active. Physical activity gives people a chance to have fun, be with friends and family, enjoy the outdoors, improve their personal appearance, and improve their fitness so that they can participate in more intensive physical activity or sporting events. Some people are active because they feel it gives them certain health benefits such as feeling energetic.

What if I am already overweight or obese?

The answer is to make some dietary changes and become physically active. If for some reason you cannot, then visit our clinic to make use of one or a combination of our revoultionary and result oriented obesity solutions.

Eitherway,

 

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