Fitness Handout For Staff and Caregivers
Catch the Wave!
Even simple exercise, like walking, helps people maintain a positive attitude and take charge of their health. By walking, we lower our risk of developing serious heart disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis. A daily routine of 30 minutes of brisk walking helps lower our weight, lower cholesterol, strengthens our hearts, and reduces the likelihood of serious health problems in the future.
Starting an exercise program and keeping it going seem to be the greatest challenges for everyone. Some tips to get people started on an exercise plan are:
- Make a written plan and keep it where you can see it.
- Set realistic goals for yourself- try to build up to reaching 30 minutes per day. Go out and get some exercise, even if you don't have a full 30 minutes available that day.
- Keep a record of the time you exercise every day.
- Change your diet so that you eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains instead of processed foods.
- Ask others to exercise with you.
- When you reach your goal, reward yourself with something that motivates you to succeed, and to set new and higher fitness goals.
Think of something you would not usually do for yourself, and use it as a reward. For example, treat yourself to a new pair of shoes or exercise outfit when you have exercised for 30 minutes per day for six weeks. Or treat yourself to a day at the beach, a trip to the skating rink, or a bike accessory when you meet your exercise goal.
How Diet and Exercise Work Together
People talk a lot about "losing weight," but what may be more important is losing fat and keeping (or building) muscle and bone density. Each pound that a body has stored represents a total of 3,500 extra calories consumed and not burned off in exercise. Losing fat depends upon two things: eating fewer calories and burning stored fat through exercise.
A 1,200-calorie diet with 4 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2 servings of low-fat meat or fish, 4 servings of whole grain, and 2 servings of low-fat dairy are a way to reduce fat intake. Exercising for 30 minutes a day (dancing, walking, bicycling, or swimming) will help by burning fat calories that have already been stored in the body.
Experts recommend eating a minimum of 1,200 low-fat calories per day, and exercising a minimum of 30 minutes per day. A person can lose fat and lose weight by using more stored calories than they replace by eating.
How fast does exercise burn calories? Dancing vigorously for an hour burns 546 stored fat calories. Walking 2 mph burns 198 stored fat calories. Walking faster at 4 mph burns 450 stored fat calories. Bicycle riding at 13 mph burns 612 stored fat calories. Even scrubbing the floor burns 440 calories per hour.
It is NOT "all or nothing." Even if you don't have time to exercise for 30 minutes a day, you can take several brisk walks or do some vigorous housework, instead.
Exercise where you already are! If you are going to the mall, park a bit further away from the door and walk in; take the stairs instead of the elevator; walk to the post office or the grocery store instead of driving. Make walking a family habit. After dinner, get the whole family outside for a game of tag and a walk around the block. If you take the children to their sports practice, walk around the field. Get off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work. Walk before work, after work, or during lunch with co-workers and clients.
It's YOUR life. Make it a healthy one.