WIN Wyoming and WIN the Rockies
Lifestyle Physical ActivitiesPhysical Activity - Your Way, Every Day
I recently heard a new definition for a spectator sport - itís when 22,000
fans in need of physical activity watch 22 athletes in need of rest. The thought
bullets this month are dedicated to physical activity. They are based on the WIN
the Rockies workshop conducted by the Cooper Institute and held in Jackson,
Wyoming, from June 4-6, 2002. The workshop was presented by Ruth Ann Carpenter
and Erin Sinclair and focused on developing lifestyle community-based physical
- The highest protection from premature death from chronic disease comes
when individuals move from the low fit category to the moderate
fit category. There is only a modest additional improvement in mortality
rates when individuals move from the moderate fit category to the high
- "Given what we know about the health benefits of physical activity,
it should be mandatory to get a doctorís permission not to
exercise." - Dr. P-O Astrand
- According to the Surgeon Generalís Report of 1996, 63% of adults are
sedentary. Of the non-sedentary adults, 22% engage in regular low to
moderate physical activity, and 15% engage in regular vigorous activity.
- What is moderate physical activity? Moderate intensity activities are
performed at 3 to 6 times a personís resting metabolic rate. For most
healthy adults, that is equivalent to walking a mile in 15-20 minutes.
- Major studies at the Cooper Institute (Project Active and Project
PRIME) compared improved fitness levels of individuals implementing either a
structured intervention (such as gym membership) or a lifestyle intervention
(taking the stairs, walking during breaks at work, walking from the furthest
parking spot, etc.). The two studies found increased fitness levels in both
structured and lifestyle interventions.
- Studies at the Cooper Institute support the Surgeon Generalís physical
activity recommendation of at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity
on most or all days. The goal can be reached in a number of ways (one
30-minute walk; three 10-minute walks; taking the stairs, walking the dog,
and mowing the yard - the possibilities are endless). When it comes to
benefits of physical activity, it is less important how a person gets
at least 30 minutes of moderate daily physical activity; what is crucial is
that physical activity becomes a part of daily living.
- Family support is one of the strongest predictors of a personís ability
to maintain physical activities over time.
- We can change our environments so that daily physical activity is
encouraged and inactivity is discouraged. Here are a few ideas:
- At the community level - Are community roadways designed to
encourage safe walking and bike riding? Are there a variety of park and
recreation facilities? Are there physical activity options available in the
community for adults and children of all ages and skill levels?
- In the home - Are sedentary options (TV, computer, video games)
balanced with physically active choices (gardens, bicycles, exercise
- In the workplace - Do work policies allow employees daily physical
- In the schools - Are recess times and PE classes offered daily?
Source: The Cooper Institute, 12330 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75230,
800-635-7050. Workshop presented by Ruth Ann Carpenter, MS, RD, LD, Associate
Director for the Division of Research, and Erin Sinclair, BS, CHES, research
Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD
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