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Exercise and Your Health


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Title: Exercise and Your Health

Exercise and Your Health
  • Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Division of Education

The Truth on Exercise
  • The bad news is that people still are not getting
    enough exercise.
  • This map shows physical activity trends in women
    and finds that only 4 in 10 women are engaging in
    the recommended levels of activity.
  • Activity decreases with age, and is less common
    among women than in men and among those with
    lower income and less education.

Source CDC. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
System, 2001. Photo from http//womenshealth.gov
  • Inactivity leads to a loss of muscle, to obesity,
    and to reduced functional
  • Inactive people have trouble sleeping, they
    lack endurance, and tire
  • Inactivity is habit forming. Children who are
    less active in school are also less active at
    home. The same is true for adults. Occupations
    that require very little physical activity
    increase sedentary tendencies during leisure
  • Low physical fitness increases the risk for
    cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some
  • Even small increases in physical activity can
    make a big difference to an
    individuals health.

  • Benefits of Physical Activity

The Importance of Exercise
  • There are a number of published studies
    indicating that physical activity benefits in
    weight maintenance, especially after a weight
  • The real benefit is not particularly during the
    weight loss itself, although it does contribute
    to the weight loss when combined with a dietary
    restriction, but more so in maintaining the
    weight loss once it is achieved.

The Importance of Exercise
  • Exercise aids in weight maintenance due to
    appetite control.
  • There are many physiological changes that take
    place due to
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved feeling of well being
  • It is important to remember that there are many
    additional benefits of

The Importance of Exercise
It is beneficial in that it
  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood
    pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity
  • Reduces both total blood cholesterol and
    triglycerides and increases high-density
    lipoproteins, known as the good cholesterol
  • Reduces your risk for having a second heart
  • Reduces your risk of developing colon cancer
  • Contributes to mental well-being and helps to
    treat depression
  • Helps relieve stress and anxiety
  • Increases your energy and endurance

The Importance of Exercise
It is beneficial in that it
  • Helps you maintain a normal weight by increasing
    your metabolism (the
    rate in which your burn calories)
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Keeps joints, tendons and ligaments flexible so
    its easier to move around
  • Reduces some of the effects of aging
  • Helps older adults become stronger and better
    able to move about without falling or becoming
    excessively fatigued

Physical Activity for Everyone
  • Everyone can benefit in some way by regular
    physical activity. Whether trying to maintain a
    weight loss or just feel more energetic,
    incorporating exercise into daily activities can
    help. There are also the benefits later in life
    from exercising. These include reductions in the
    risk of developing chronic diseases and overall
    improvements in your quality of life.

Who Benefits and How?
  • Older adults No one is too old to enjoy the
    benefits from regular physical activity. Evidence
    indicates that muscle-strengthening exercises can
    work to reduce the risk of falling and fracturing
    bones, and can improve the ability to live
  • Parents and children Parents can help their
    children maintain a physically active lifestyle
    by providing them with encouragement and
    opportunities for exercise. Outings and family
    events are encouraged, particularly when everyone
    in the family is involved.

Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC)
Who Benefits and How?
  • Teenagers Regular physical activity improves
    strength, builds lean muscle, and decreases body
    fat. Activity can build stronger bones to last a
  • Individuals trying to manage their weight
    Regular physical
    activity helps to burn calories while preserving
    lean muscle mass. Regular physical activity is an
    important component to any weight-loss or
    weight-maintenance activity.
  • Individuals with high blood pressure
    Regular physical
    activity helps to lower blood pressure.

Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC)
Who Benefits and How?
  • Individuals with physical disabilities, including
  • Regular physical activity for individuals
    with chronic, disabling conditions is important
    because it can help improve their stamina and
    muscle strength. It can also improve the quality
    of life by improving the individuals ability to
    perform daily activities.
  • Everyone under stress, including persons
    experiencing anxiety or depression
  • Regular physical activity has been shown
    to improve ones mood, help relieve depression,
    and increase feelings of well-being.

Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC)
  • Types of Exercise

Types of Exercise
Aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance
  • Aerobic exercise is exercise that involves large
    muscle groups (arms and legs) in dynamic
    activities that result in substantial increases
    in heart rate and energy expenditure
  • Anaerobic exercise is exercise done at very high
    intensities such that a large portion of the
    energy is provided by glycolysis and stored
    phosphocreatine. These activities build and tone
    muscles, but are not as beneficial to the heart
    and lungs as aerobic activities are.
  • Resistance exercise is exercise designed
    specifically to increase muscular strength,
    power, and endurance by varying the resistance,
    the number of time the resistance is moved in a
    single group (set) of exercise, the number of
    sets done, and the rest interval provided between

  • Anaerobic
  • Baseball
  • Sprinting
  • Tennis
  • Weightlifting
  • Leg lifts
  • Arm circles
  • Curl-ups
  • Doing laundry
  • Washing windows
  • Aerobic
  • Brisk walking
  • Dancing
  • Jogging
  • Bicycling
  • Skating
  • Swimming
  • Snow shoveling
  • Lawn mowing
  • Leaf raking
  • Vacuuming

  • The Science of Exercise

Physical Activity and Physical Fitness
Whats the difference?
  • Physical activity is defined as any bodily
    movement produced by skeletal muscles that
    results in an expenditure of energy.
  • Exercise is defined as a subset of physical
    activity that is planned, structured, repetitive,
    and purposeful.
  • Physical fitness is a measure of ones ability to
    perform physical activities that require
    endurance, strength, or flexibility and is
    determined by a combination of regular activity
    and genetically inherited ability.
  • Simply put, fitness is achieved by physical
    activity. Physical activity is a must for optimal

Lets define some terms
  • 1. Homeostasis This refers to the ability
    or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain
    internal equilibrium by adjusting its
    physiological processes. Once a weight loss or
    desired weight is achieved, this is what you want
    to maintain. It might be a different weight than
    what is ideal for you body to maintain at
  • 2. Energy Expenditure The act or process of
    using up energy. This is one component that must
    be considered when striving to achieve
  • 3. Thermogenesis Generation or production
    of heat, especially by physiological processes.
    This is one of three components of energy

Lets define some terms.
  • 4. Basal Metabolism The minimal amount of
    energy required to maintain vital functions in an
    organism at complete rest. This is measured by
    the basal metabolic rate (BMR) in a fasting
    individual who is resting in a warm and
    comfortable environment.
  • 5. Satiety The condition of being full or
    gratified beyond the point of satisfaction. Often
    times, we ignore this feeling or fail to notice
    it when eating.
  • 6. Hunger Refers to a strong desire or
    need for food. It is the discomfort, weakness,
    or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food. It is
    not the same as appetite, or craving foods.

Energy ExpenditureComponents
  • Made up of three dominant components
  • Basal metabolism
  • Thermogenesis
  • Physical activity
  • Thermogenesis includes the dietary-induced and
    thermoregulatory components
  • Only physical activity has a substantial element
    of voluntary control.

Energy Intake
  • Energy intake, on the other hand, is entirely
    voluntary, except in clinical conditions.
  • Therefore, the modifiable aspects of the energy
    balance equation amount to just two variables
  • Physical activity
  • Food intake

The Two Sides to Over Eating
Over Eating Driven by the agricultural revolution
Under Activity Driven by the technological
Inactivity, combined with overeating appear to be
the largest contributors to the
obesity epidemic. When energy intake (energy in)
and physical activity (energy burned)
are at balance with one another, the
body is at homeostasis.
Physical Activity and Appetite Control
  • Physical activity has the potential to adjust
    appetite control by
  • Improving the sensitivity of the physiological
    satiety signaling system
  • Adjusting macronutrient preferences or food
  • Altering the hedonic (pleasurable) response to

Physical Activity and Appetite Control
Recent Findings
  • Short term (1-2 day) and medium term (7-16 day)
    studies demonstrated that men and women can
    tolerate substantial negative energy balances
    when performing physical activity programs.
  • The immediate effect of beginning an exercise
    program is weight loss.
  • When about 30 of energy is expended in activity,
    food intake then begins to increase in order to
    provide compensation for this loss.
  • This compensation (up to 16 d) is partial and

  • The Set Point Theory

Set Point Theory Body homeostasis
  • Previous animal experiments indicate that there
    is a set point of body weight that is correctly
    defended under most conditions.
  • Studies have demonstrated that there are natural
    feedback systems capable of regulating energy
    homeostasis with great precision in animals.
  • The same is true for humans. The body wants a
    balance between energy intake and expenditure.

Overview of Energy Balance
  • When energy intake is greater than energy
    expenditure, there is a net weight gain
  • Energy intake Energy expenditure weight gain
  • When energy intake is less than energy
    expenditure, there is a net weight loss
  • Energy intake
  • When energy intake and energy expenditure are at
    equilibrium with one another, weight is
  • Energy intake Energy Expenditure weight

The Energy Balance Equation
Calories Used During Physical Activity
Calories From Foods
To lose weight, an energy imbalance
with an energy deficit is required.
This can be done through dieting,
exercising, or a combination of both.
Set Point Theory Body homeostasis
  • The set point theory seems to operate when the
    environment allows physical activity and healthy
    food is available. However, it has been shown to
    be easily disrupted by changes in the external
    environment, such as inactivity and the over
    consumption of energy-dense foods.
  • In experimental animals, research shows that
    their ability to regulate energy balance was
    impaired once their movement was restricted and
    they were forced to become physically inactive.
  • In addition, when their low-fat laboratory chow
    was replaced by a cafeteria diet with
    energy-dense and highly palatable foods, extreme
    obesity with massive fat deposition was the

Set Point Theory Body homeostasis
  • Similar outcomes have been noted in humans.
    Normal lean volunteers on a high fat consumed
    excess calories. The fat content (and hence
    energy density) of the diet was higher than
    normal. They were eating many more calories than
    normal without being aware of it.
  • Energy balances were shown to be strongly
    influenced by the energy densities of the diets.
    The higher the fat content of the diet, the
    higher the energy balance. The excess fat in the
    diet was not detected physiologically. The
    failure to recognize that the energy content of
    the diets was different led to excess caloric
    intake and appetite and energy expenditure was
    not modified accordingly.

ImbalancesPhysical Activity and Food Intake
  • A survival imperative common to all mammals is
  • The ability to maintain the bodys energy
    reserves in the form of hepatic (liver) and
    muscle glycogen, and
  • a supply of fat for the long term
  • These energy reserves are necessary to support
    basic physiologic and immune functions, and to
    mount fight or flight responses.
  • Because of these essential needs, hunger is
    believed to have evolved to be a strong
    physiologic drive made up by robust
    neuro-endocrine mechanisms, which are protected
    by multiple levels of redundancy.
  • The same is true for humans.

Imbalance ofPhysical Activity and Food Intake
  • Due to recurrent periods of food shortage and
    famine, it is believed that evolutionary
    pressures led to the ability for us to store fat.
    We can well exceed that which is needed for
    day-to-day survival.
  • Because of famines and lack of food, there has
    never been the imperative to develop strong
    satiety mechanisms.
  • This imbalance between hunger and satiety signals
    is believed to lead to an asymmetry in appetite
  • This could possibly explain why current
    lifestyles create obesity in our society. We no
    longer experience famine, and without strong
    satiety mechanism and plentiful food we consume
    large quantities of rich, palatable food.

  • Exercise and Chronic Diseases

Physical Activity Coronary Heart Disease
  • A major, underlying risk factor for coronary
    heart disease is inactivity.
  • In a study published in JAMA, men, who were
    initially unfit and became fit, were found to
    have a 52 lower age-adjusted risk of
    cardiovascular disease mortality than their peers
    who remained unfit.
  • Regular physical activity has been shown to
    impact blood pressure beneficially.
  • One study found that for every 26.3 men who
    walked more than 20 minutes to work, one case of
    hypertension would be prevented.

Physical Activity Coronary Heart Disease
  • It is important to note that these acute effects
    of exercise on blood pressure lowering do not
    require vigorous efforts. They can be achieved at
    40 of maximal capacity during exercise.
  • Blood lipids play a major role in the development
    of atherosclerosis, which is the underlying cause
    of coronary heart disease.
  • Moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise
    training has been shown to improve the blood
    lipid profiles of individuals.
  • The most commonly observed changes have been
    increases in High density lipoprotein cholesterol
    (HDL), with reductions in total blood
    cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
    (LDL), and triglycerides.

Physical Activity and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Physical activity is associated with
  • A reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Glucose homeostasis
  • From participating in physical activity 30
    minutes/day, overweight subjects were able to
    reduce their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by
    58 in a recent study.
  • Physical inactivity has been shown to elevate the
    risk of developing type 2 diabetes in
    normal-weight individuals as well.

Physical Activity Overweight/Obesity
  • Physical activity appears to be an important
    component in weight stability for healthy
  • In a recent study looking at the effects of
    physical activity on body composition in 3,853
    healthy subjects between the ages of 15 and 64,
    it was concluded that physical activity is able
    to limit both fat mass and weight gain in men and
  • Many studies are in agreement with one another
    when stating that exercise diet lead to greater
    weight losses than just diet-alone.
  • In a review of 11 studies looking at the
    influence of both exercise and diet on weight
    loss, the average weight loss of the diet-only
    group was shown to be 6.7 kg whereas, the
    average weight loss of the diet exercise group
    was 8.5 kg.

Physical Activity Overweight/Obesity
  • Weight loss is not only achieved, but is also
    maintained through physical activity.
  • In 2001, a study was conducted on 3000 previously
    obese subjects, who reported a weight loss of 30
    kg, on average, which was additionally maintained
    for an average of 5.5 years.
  • Those who did not continue to participate in
    physical activity, only 9 were able to maintain
    their weight loss in the absence of physical

This further supports the importance of exercise
in the prevention of weight regain.
Physical Activity and Osteopenia
  • Everyday physical activity has a positive effect
    on skeletal mass.
  • It has been suggested that electrical currents
    are developed when bone is mechanically stressed,
    leading to the formation of new bone.
  • When comparing whole body, leg, and trunk body
    mineral densities in women who walk 7.5
    miles/week versus those who walk 1 mile per week
    or less, women in the group with the most
    distance were shown to have significant increases
    in bone density.

Normal bone Osteoporotic bone
Physical Activity and Sarcopenia
  • Sarcopenia can be defined as the age-related loss
    of muscle mass, strength and function.
  • Physically active subjects aged over 65 years
    have a significantly higher level of lean tissue
    mass than sedentary participants.
  • It has also been shown that healthy older people
    can safely tolerate higher intensity strength
    training with improvements comparable with those
    seen in younger persons.

Physical Activity Psychological Disorders
  • Physical activity is associated with elevations
    in mood states and heightened psychological
  • On the other hand, inactive persons have been
    shown to be 1.5 times more likely to become
    depressed than those who maintain an active
  • Physical activity is believed to be protective
    against the development of Alzheimers disease.
    This is believed to be due to increased blood
    flow, which may in turn promote nerve cell
    growth. It has been suggested that people who are
    intellectually and physically inactive have a
    250 higher risk of developing the disease.

  • Getting Started

Getting Started
  • You will first want to begin by speaking with
    your doctor.
  • This is particularly important if you
  • Are elderly
  • Currently smoke
  • Have any health problems
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have not been active in a while
  • Are currently pregnant
  • Are unsure of your health status
  • Feel pain in your chest, joints or muscles during
  • After getting a clearance to begin from the
    doctor, start slowly. A good suggestion could be
    to begin with a 10-minute period of light
    exercise or a short walk every day. You can then
    gradually increase how hard you exercise for and
    how long you walk.

What can you do?
  • There are many types of exercise to choose from
  • Walking or jogging
  • Swimming
  • Bicycle riding
  • Group exercises
  • Weight-bearing exercise, such as weight lifting,
    resistance bands, or activities involving the
    whole body
  • Stretching, such as yoga or tai chi exercises
  • Participation in active sports, such as tennis,
    basketball, and soccer

Ways to Add Activity to Your Day
  • Park the car in the furthest spot from the
    entrance and walk the extra distance
  • Get off of the bus one stop before your
    destination and walk
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Take walking breaks during the work day
  • Take a 10-minute walk during your lunch break
  • Walk a dog or play outside with the kids
  • Dance to your favorite music
  • Use housecleaning as an exercise opportunity
  • Ask a friend, family member, or coworker to walk
    with you

Physical Activity Calorie Use Chart
The chart shows the approximate calories spent
per hour by a 100, 150 and 200 pound person doing
a particular activity
Adults should strive to meet either of the
following physical activity recommendations
  • Adults should engage in moderate-intensity
    physical activities for at least 30 minutes on 5
    or more days of the week (CDC/American College of
    Sports Medicine). This 30 minutes per day can be
    accumulated in bouts of 10 minutes throughout the
  • Adults should engage in vigorous-intensity
    physical activity 3 or more days per week for 20
    or more minutes per occasion (Healthy People

While activity at a higher intensity or performed
longer does offer more
health benefits, this level of activity may not
be a realistic goal for everyone,
at least not to start with. Again, work your
way to this, slowly,
by setting realistic goals for each
Physical Activity Recommendations
  • The optimal amount of weekly exercise necessary
    to prevent weight gain is not known.
  • The current recommendations translate to about
    30 minutes of physical activity a day on most
    days of the week (5 or more) at a minimum. There
    is an improvement in physiological measures with
    this level of activity, but a greater improvement
    is seen with higher level of physical activity.
  • Weight loss can be achieved with increased level
    of physical activity and dietary restraint.

Moderate Intensity Activity
Whats is it?
  • This is an activity which generally causes a
    slight, but noticeable increase in breathing and
    heart rate. It may also cause light sweating.
  • Some examples of moderate intensity activity
  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Doubles Tennis

  • Heli J. Roy, PhD, RD
  • Shanna Lundy, BS
  • Phillip Brantley, PhD
  • Reviewed by

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    Available at http//www.familydoctor.org
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  • Physical Activity. Available at
  • Physical Activity Calorie Use Chart. Available
    at http//www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?i
  • The Journal of the American Medical Association
    (JAMA). Available at http//www.jama.com
  • Physical Activity for Everyone The Importance of
    Physical activity. Available at
  • General Physical Activities Defined By Level of
    Intensity. Available at http//www.cdc.gov/nccdph
  • Sarcopenia The Mystery of Muscle Loss. Available
    at http//www.unm.edu/lkravitz/Article20folder/
  • Physical Activity and Weight Control. Available
    at http//win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/physical
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    at http//www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?i

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