Weight Loss Exercise Plan For Women

Impact of Epidemiological Research

Based on these and many other large prospective studies with diverse populations, physical activity that expends approximately 1000 kcal/week or 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity lowers the risk of all-cause mortality. The recommendation can be met from a combination of moderate and vigorous activity or by accumulating the 150 minutes through multiple 10-minute sessions through the day. The guidelines for resistance training are

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2 whole-body training sessions/week working all major muscle groups of the body.

Although the majority of the literature supports the established guidelines, several studies suggest less physical activity is beneficial. At least 3 studies have found that half the recommended volume (500 kcal/week) may reduce the risk of premature death.63,69,86 It seems clear to suggest that more physical activity is better than some and some is better than none. Each individual will have slightly different outcomes based on personal factors, including baseline physical fitness, current health, and genetic makeup. Multiple studies report that the most benefit or greatest reduction in health risk occurs in the movement of sedentary individuals into the slightly active category (see Figure 2-2).38

National statistics paint a grim picture concerning American’s lack of physical activity. The evidence for physical activity is overwhelming, and the statistical estimates for its impact on disease worldwide are startling. According to Lee et al,87 physical inactivity directly causes 6% of all heart disease, 7% of T2DM, and 10% of breast and colon cancer. If inactivity was reduced by 25%, more than 1 million deaths could be postponed every year, and there would be an increase in life expectancy worldwide.87 In the United States, approximately 56% of adults do not meet the recommendations for physical activity of 150 minutes/week at moderate intensity.88 One study of adolescents and adults showed that Americans averaged 8 hours of sedentary behavior a day and more than 35% of US adults spend no time participating in leisure-time physical activity.89 The estimate for health care costs associated with physical inactivity is now more than $100 billion/year.90 Only 34% of individuals reported receiving any exercise or physical activity recommendations from their health care provider during their last medical visit.91

Although there are 5 components of health-related physical fitness, cardiovascular fitness could be argued as the most important component. Physical activity and cardiovascular fitness reduce the risk of all-cause mortality. It is vital that aerobic activity be the foundation of individual exercise programs for overall health and that resistance exercise be included for increases in muscular strength and bone density. In a society that craves a magic pill for all health problems, physical activity is the closest option. With the ability to affect health in so many different ways and in so many different systems of the body, it is hard to believe that the population is becoming increasingly sedentary.

Epidemiology has laid the foundation for change. The evidence is overwhelming from years of dedication to research of the link between physical activity and health. It is time that the passion for research overlaps with a passion for lifestyle and behavior change. Without change soon, as a society, there will be a crisis in the health care system and an ever-declining quality of life. Future medical advances in drug therapy and technology may prolong life, but at the cost of decades of disease management, dependency on medication, diminished physical function, and reduced independence in daily tasks. This is how society will realize the true impact of the knowledge gained from epidemiology. How can we change our physical activity habits?

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