June 12, 2007
Exercise Your Grey Matter With Our Quiz About Keeping Fit and Healthy
Most of us know we should take more exercise. Things can get hazy when it comes to the details of what type of exercise, when it should be done and how long for. To support the Welsh Assembly's Climbing Higher strategy to get more of us more active, the Sports Council for Wales has devised a quiz to help people brush up on exercise knowledge. Test yourself with the Sports Council for Wales' fitness quiz below to help concentrate the mind the next time the biscuit tin calls
1. The recommended level of activity for adults is:
a. 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity, five days a week
b. 30 minutes of high intensity activity, three days a week
c. 10 minutes of gentle exercise, every day
d. 1 hour of moderate intensity activity, six days a week
All adults should be active for at least 30 minutes on five days of the week at a moderate level. Moderate is anything that makes you feel warm and gets you slightly out of breath, which means you can count everything from brisk walking to belly dancing and golf to gardening.You can also split your 30 minutes into chunks, like three lots of 10 minutes or two lots of 15 minutes, making the whole thing much more achievable. (correct answer: a)
2. At what age should you stop exercising?
d. You're never too old to exercise.
People often confuse lack of fitness for the signs of "getting on" and enter an activity slowdown. While it might seem like the natural thing to do, putting your feet up in later life puts you on the slippery slope leading to dependency and ill health. Experts say the older body performs far more efficiently when you exercise. While rest and relaxation is important, it is vital that you fit in regular activity to stay active, healthy and independent. There are no side effects from exercise, as long as it is done correctly. Before you start seek the advice of your doctor, especially if you suffer from heart disease, arthritis or asthma. Even so, there should be some form of exercise out there for everybody. (correct answer: d)
3. How many adults in Wales are active for the recommended levels?
Only 34% of adults are active enough for the recommended 30 minutes on five days. This means that two thirds of the population are at an increased health risk. In order to enjoy better health, we must get more physically active as a nation, and it's up to every one of us to play our part. (correct answer: d)
4. How many calories do you have to burn to lose one pound of fat?
To lose one pound, you need to burn 3500 calories. So, if each day you cut 250 calories from your typical diet and burn off 250 calories through exercise - a total of 500 calories a day - you'll lose approximately one pound a week. To maintain a healthy weight, you have to watch what you eat - even if you're exercising regularly. You might be burning more calories than you would if you were sedentary but that doesn't give you the green light to indulge. Strike a balance between the number of calories you take in and the number you burn through daily activity. (correct answer: c)
5. What is generally regarded as the "perfect" form of exercise?
Described by health experts as "almost perfect exercise", walking requires no equipment or expense and is the ideal way for most people to become more active. The health benefits of walking are renowned. Medical research proves that regular walking can halve the chance of coronary heart disease; reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels; it can help reduce weight and maintain weight loss; increase bone density and help fight osteoporosis as well. But don't let that put you off the other three. Swimming is a great low impact activity, jogging is an ideal weight bearing exercise and cycling is an effective aerobic exercise. (correct answer: c)
6. If one pound of fat burns two calories a day, how many does one pound of muscle burn?
You can burn more calories, every hour, every day, even while sleeping by building up muscle. When you add muscle to your body, you are increasing your basal metabolic rate - the number of calories you burn each day at rest - so for every pound of fat you replace with muscle you'll be burning an extra 48 calories. We aren't talking about Schwarzenegger-like muscles, just toning your legs, arms, stomach and shoulders. And don't be fooled into thinking you have to lift weights; regular brisk walking is enough to build leg muscles. (correct answer: c)
7. Which of the following statements is true?
a. The more exercise the better.
b. If you're overweight, you should lose weight before you begin an exercise regime.
c. If you exercise regularly and are physically fit you can eat whatever you want.
d. If you're regularly active you can add up to three years to you life
A recent study (Epic) found that by exercising more, you could potentially add three years to your life. Similarly, by eating five portions of fruit and veg you'll add another three and if you stop smoking a further five. It's all about balance; as far as exercise is concerned, less can actually be more. A 30-minute walk can be far more beneficial than spending hours over training, which could lead to injury and disillusionment. There is also no physiological reason to lose weight before starting an exercise programme - exercise is the best thing for your health and there is no time like the present to start, unless you have absolute orders from a doctor not to. And remember, to maintain a healthy weight, you have to watch what you eat - even if you're exercising regularly.
8. The best time to exercise is:
a. First thing in the morning
b. Late at night
c. Before lunch
d. Late afternoon
There's a lot of debate surrounding the best time to exercise. Research on lung function, body rhythms, temperature, and hormone levels say one thing - to exercise around 6pm. But surveys on exercise habits say another - to exercise in the morning before other commitments distract you, or during the day when you have a free period of time. In reality, the answer is whatever works best for you is the best time. The thing everyone agrees on is that exercise at any time is better that no exercise at all. (correct answer: anytime that suits you)
9. Which of the following conditions can exercise help with?
c. Heart disease
Regular exercise has been proven to play a part in preventing and managing all four conditions. Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting osteoporosis and diabetes, half the risk of developing coronary heart disease and can raise HDL or "good" cholesterol by 4% and lower LDL or "bad" levels by 4 to 5%. The most important thing is to make it regular and consistent. Put simply, walking just two miles per day will reduce your risk of suffering from several chronic health conditions. (correct answer: all four)
10. What do you have to do to burn off a fresh cream chocolate eclair? (218 calories and 16 grams of fat)
a. 45 minutes of brisk walking
b. 30 minutes hiking
c. 50 minutes gardening
d. 20 minutes jogging
A 10 stone woman can burn off the effects doing any of the above activities.
The harder you work, the more calories you burn, which is why you'll burn the same number of calories jogging as walking, but in less than half the time. (correct answer: all four).
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