Test Your Fitness IQ
Chris Regal | July 31, 2009
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True or False: Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, altering moods.
Physical activity does improve moods, psychological well-being, and self-esteem. Plus, it's likely to decrease mild anxiety, depression, and stress, which are some of the negative feelings that precede a lapse in healthy eating. Use exercise as a way to interrupt this cycle.
True or False: Exercise enhances high-density lipoproteins (HDL) levels, which improves health.
If you are exercising primarily for reasons related to health, it is important to understand the role of exercise in increasing high-density lipoproteins — an effect that reduces cardiovascular risk.
True or False: Past exercise experiences have no effect on present experiences.
Prior negative experiences with exercise can be a major barrier to regular activity. Unpleasant memories such as being teased by peers, poor performance and other feelings of inadequacy may leave people ashamed, self-conscious, and uncomfortable with their bodies and exercise. Others can't tolerate sweat, physical discomfort, or embarrassment over their body. Try developing a list of the costs and benefits of exercise as you see them. The more worth you attach to each the more influential they will be in determining your fitness habits.
True or False: Exercise helps keep lost weight off.
Exercise is the single best predictor of long-term weight maintenance.
True or False: Exercise plays a significant role in initial weight loss.
Exercise has a modest effect on initial weight loss. Dietary programs, exercise, and combination of diet and exercise all produce similar short-term effects on weight loss. This may result from the fact that people are likely to stick with a diet in the beginning. Therefore, there may be little room for additional weight loss.
Low to moderate activity, such as walking (that requires less than 60 percent of maximal capacity) leads to:
Increasing activity to low or moderate intensity decreases food intake and body weight.
Vigorous exercise (that requires 70 percent or more of maximal capacity) leads to:
More vigorous exercise leads to increased food intake and stable body weight.
Women who exercise tend to compensate by:
Studies have found that women who exercise make compensatory increases in food intake but men do not. This may result from the incorrect assumption that exercise increases appetite.
A person who believes "no pain, no gain" is likely to:
High intensity exercise can increase tension and anxiety. Moderate-intensity activities (those requiring less than 60 percent of maximal capacity) may promote better initiation and maintenance of exercise than more intensive programs. Moderate activity appears to be more readily maintained over the life span, whereas participation in vigorous activity declines dramatically with age.
Consistent exercisers tend to:
People who exercise at the start of the day are usually realistic and committed. They recognize that if they don't exercise early their routine will likely be disrupted. People who plan to exercise rather than do it "when I have time" are much more likely to workout on a consistent basis.
The most important facet of exercise in improving health is:
There is substantial evidence that regular physical activity is associated with good health. Even modest levels of exercise are sufficient for significant health benefits. The question to ask yourself is, "Will I be doing this a year from now?" Choose activities that are enjoyable in the long run. It's better to walk once a week than jog two miles every day for a week and then stop entirely.