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Alternative namesFitness recommendations; Exercise
DefinitionPhysical activity is the state of being active (with action or movement).
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND THE USE OF CALORIES
BASAL METABOLIC RATE
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories used by the body when it is at rest. BMR accounts for most of a person's calorie use. A person's basal metabolic rate is based on body functions such as respiration , digestion, heartbeat, and brain function. One's age, sex, body weight, and level of physical activity impact the basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate increases with the amount of muscle tissue a person has, and it reduces with age.
Physical activity at a moderate rate does not increase the appetite. In some situations, the appetite will actually decrease. Research indicates that the decrease in appetite after physical activity is greater in individuals who are obese than in individuals who are at their desirable body weight.
When losing weight through calorie reduction alone, a person loses 25% of his or her lean body mass and 75% of his or her body fat . Combining calorie reduction with physical activity can result in loss of 98% of body fat. Weight loss that is achieved with a combination of calorie restriction and physical activity is more effective. For maintenance of desirable body weight, a maintenance level of calories along with physical activity is recommended to preserve lean body mass and muscle tone.
The recommendations provided by the American College of Sports Medicine for weight loss and maintenance are as follows:
To calculate the target heart rate, use the following formula:
For example, a 50-year old woman exercising at 60% maximum would use the following calculation:
This is her target heart rate regardless of the type of physical activity she elects to do.
Physical activity contributes to health by reducing the heart rate, decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, and reducing the amount of bone loss that is associated with age and osteoporosis . Physical activity also helps the body use calories more efficiently, thereby helping in weight loss and maintenance. It can increase basal metabolic rate, reduces appetite, and helps in the reduction of body fat.
Physical activity should be done at a rate that is appropriate for the person. An evaluation by an exercise physiologist is helpful to avoid injuries that can occur if physical activity is initiated without much consideration given to the type, duration of physical activity, and the physical condition of the person.
Update Date: 6/8/2003David Webner, M.D., Department of Family Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT