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Health Eating and Active Living


How much physical activity should you be doing?

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking, raking leaves) on most days of the weeks is associated with health benefits.
  • Additional health benefits may be gained from a regular regimen of physical activity that is of a more rigorous intensity or longer duration.
  • Engaging in a program of exercise that improves the health-related components of fitness is desirable.

    The health-related components of fitness include:

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Muscular fitness (muscular strength & endurance)
  • Flexibility
  • Body composition

Other components of fitness (such as speed, agility, coordination, and balance) may be important for athletic performance, but are not necessary to maintain good health throughout life.

Cardio Respiratory Fitness is the ability to sustain prolonged rhythmic activity. Cardiorespiratory fitness can be improved through aerobic exercise - any activity that uses large muscle groups and can be maintained continuously. Examples include walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming.

engaging in regular aerobic exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight by burning calories. It also increases one's resting metabolic rate( the amount of calories burned when not exercising).

To improve cardio respiratory fitness, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends engaging in aerobic exercise:

  • 3-5 days per week
  • for 20-60 minutes duration (Aerobic workouts can be completed in one single bout or multiple bouts of at least 10 minutes throughout the day.)
  • at 65%-95% of one's maximum heart rate (see below to calculate your target exercise heart rate range.)

To maintain weight over the short- and long-term, the ACSM recommends expending at least 2,000 calories through physical activity each week.

To calculate your target exercise heart rate range:

  • Estimate your maximum heart rate. Take 220-age=______ (this is your maximum).
  • Determine your lower-limit exercise heart rate by multiplying your maximum heart rate by 0.65
  • Determine your upper-limit exercise rate heart by multiplying your maximum heart rate by 0.95

Your exercise heart rate range is between your upper and lower limits.

For example, a 20 year old will have maximum heart rate of about 200 beats per minute and a target exercise heart rate range of 130-190 beats per minute.

To measure your heart rate during exercise:

  • Find your artery at your neck (carotid artery or your wrist (radial artery).
  • Count the number of beats you feel for 15 seconds.
  • Multiply this number by 4 to get your heart rate in beats per minute.

Flexibility is the ability to move joints freely and without pain through a full range of motion. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments will become tighter if they are not used through their full range of motion on a regular basis.

The ACSM recommends stretching all the major muscles throughout the body at least 2-3 days per week and, ideally 5-7 days per week. Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds and repeated 2-4 times. One of the best times to stretch is after an aerobic workout.

Body composition refers to the relative amounts of fat and lean tissue in the body. A high percentage of body fat increases one's risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Both aerobic and resistance exercise improve body composition by decreasing body fat and increasing muscle mass.

Fitness Education

Resistance training helps with weight management by building more muscle tissue, which burns more calories at rest than fat tissue. Resistance training also helps maintain muscle mass that would otherwise be lost with age and inactivity. This makes it easier to perform many daily tasks (e.g. carrying groceries, snow shoveling, etc.) throughout life. In addition, resistance training helps to build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.


  • Fad Diets: Are they 'phat' or making you fat? Did you know that 95% of dieters regain their lost weight within 1-5 years? If so, then why do we continue to diet? In this presentation, we'll identify popular fad diets, discuss the pros and cons, and look at what research shows is helpful for losing and maintaining weight.
  • Fast Food in a Dot Com World: Everyday, 1out of 4 Americans eat fast food with one meal possibly packing enough calories sodium, and fat for an entire day. Find out how you can survive in this fast-paced world by making meals in minutes at home that are delicious and nutritious to make. We'll also look at ways you can save calories (and guilt!) by dining out the healthy way.
  • From Recipe Rookie to Supermarket Savy: Are you constantly grabbing fast food or stuck in a rut of having mac and cheese every day? Find out how you can plan easy, well-balanced meals that are delicious and nutritious to make. Discover tips and techniques for meal planning, grocery shopping, label reading and eating healthy on a budget.
  • How To Be a Sports Nut: Whether you're into basketball, football, gymnastics or ballet, discover the nutrients your body needs to support an active lifestyle. Get meal and snack ideas for pre- and post- workouts and events, and learn how to select sport drinks, energy bars and supplements that are appropriate and healthy for you.

Weight Management

Weight management comes down to one thing: calories. Calories are a unit of energy and everyone needs energy to live.. When you consume more calories in the diet then what your body needs or will use, weight gain occurs. When you use or burn more calories than what you consume in the diet, weight loss occurs. And when you consume the same number of calories your body needs, there's weight maintenance.

Listening to your body's hunger and fullness cues can be helpful way to manage your weight. It's a good idea to examine your hunger, appetite and satiety prior to eating.

  • Hunger is the physiological needs for food.
  • Appetite is desire for food.
  • Satiety is the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after eating.

There are many reasons people eat including boredom, pleasure, anxiety, schedule, or social gatherings. If you are eating for reasons other than to satisfy your hunger, you may have dietary habits that make it difficult to manage your weight. Below are couple of methods to help you identify your hunger cues.

Hunger-Fullness Scale

Use the following scale to rate your feelings of hunger and fullness before and after you eat. For Example, if you feel your stomach grumble, rate your a 3. If you eat until you feel politely full rate your fullness at a 7.

  • 1=Famished, starving
  • 2=Really hungry, may feel tired, weak, difficult to concentrate
  • 3=Hungry, stomach may grumble
  • 4=Somewhat hungry but could wait to eat
  • 5=Neither hungry nor full, don't need to eat
  • 6=Feel satisfied or somewhat full, no reason to eat more
  • 7=Politely full, you could eat more but you don't have to
  • 8=Full, don't need to eat more
  • 9=Uncomfortably full
  • 10= Painfully full, can't eat another bite

Aim for staying within a 3-7 range on the hunger-fullness scale. There's no rule that says you have to eat until you feel full. You could eat until you are politely full where you could eat more but you don't have to, or until you're no longer hungry. In Addition, waiting too long to eat could lead to overeating later. To avoid either extreme, consider some of the following tips for staying within an appropriate hunger-fullness range:

  • Plan or prepare meals and snacks ahead of time so you don't have to rely on vending machines or fast food. This also allows you to have more control in making healthier selections and you can have something to eat right away if and when you get hungry.
  • Pre-portion meals and snacks ahead of time in small Tupperware containers, sandwich or snack bags, or use smaller plates, cups and bowls to prevent you from overeating.
  • Train your body when to be hungry and ready to eat based on your schedule.
  • Carry a snack in case you get hungry or have to go without eating for 3-5 hours.
  • Eat with fewer distractions (TV< computer, working, studying) so you are more aware of how much and what you eat.

Need or Want (N.O.W)

When food is just a thought ask yourself, "Is this a need because I feel stomache hungry or is it a want?" If you are hungry, have something to eat but stop when you are politely full, or no longer hungry. If you are not hungry, wait to eat until you are hungry and find an alternative activity you can do in the meantime to divert your attention. Consider activities that are enjoyable, stress relieving, comforting, can be done alone or in groups, and easily accessible.

Examples of alternative activities include:

  • Calling a friend or family member
  • Checking a facebook or myspace
  • Chewing gum
  • Going for a walk
  • Painting your nails
  • Playing a computer or video game
  • Reading a book
  • Scrapbooking

The Apple Test

Another way to test your hunger is to ask yourself before eating, "Am I Hungry enough to eat an apple?" If you really like apples, pick another food you feel neutral about. Otherwise, if you are truly stomach hungry you will probably eat the apple. However, if you would not eat the apple you are probably eating for reasons other than hunger.

Every Body Needs Calories

Your body needs calories just to live. Your lungs pump oxygen, your heart pumps blood, your kidneys excrete waste, your liver needs to detoxifym and your brain coordinates all that your body is doing. These functions occur whether your moving, sitting or sleeping, so its important to give your body an adequate energy supply. When your body doesn't get enough calories, your organs don't get enough fuel to perform vital functions of the body, gradually damaging your body.

Body Image and Eating Disorders

Living in our culture, it's not suprising if you feel you have to look a certain way to be happy or even healthy. However, the things you are doing to be thin cab quickly spin out of control and become a serious life-threatening eating disorder.

  • Do you spend time wishing parts of your body looked different/
  • Are you unhappy with your relfection in the mirror?
  • Do you skip meals?
  • Do you count the calories or fat grams in anythung you eat?
  • Do you exercise so much that you are fatigued or have frequent injuries?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, consider reading more about body image and eating disorders, requesting a presentation, or referring to additional resources

Body Image

Every BODY is Different

It is important to remember that every body is different. Even if everyone started eating the same things and did the same amount of exercise for a whole year, we would not all look the same at the end of the year. This is beacuase each person's genetic influence their bone structure, body size, shape, and weight differently.

Your "ideal" body weight is the weight that allows you to feel strong and energetic, and lets you lead a healthy, normal life. when searching for your ideal weight, don't rely on charts, formulas, and tables to dictate what's right for you. Instead, eat balanced meals full of nutritious foods and enjoy regular, moderate exercise. Avoid comparing your body with your friends' bodies or other people you see in advertisements and on TV. Try to remember that we are all naturally different which means we all have special qualities about us. make it a list of your strengths, what you like and what makes you unique.

What is body image?

Body image is...

  • How you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when your picture yourself in your mind.
  • How you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight.
  • How you feel in your body, not just about your body.
  • What your believe about your own appearance (including your memories, assumptions, and generalizations).

Eating Disorders

What is Disordered Eating?

Disordered eating is when a person's attitude about food, weight, and body size, lead to very rigid eating and exercise habits that jeopardize one's health, happiness, and safety. Disordered eating may begin as a way to lose a few pounds or get in shape, but these behaviors can quickly get out of control, become obsessions, and may even turn into an eating disorder. Even if you don't have a full-blown eating disorder, you may be missing out on a living while you spend all your time dieting! Just because you weigh yourself, skip means, count caloriesm or over-exercise doesn't necessarily mean that you have an eating disorder, but you may be dealing with what's called "disordered eating".

What is an Eating Disorder?

eating disorders such as anorexia bilimia, binge eating, and muscle dysmorphia include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. THey are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life- threatening consequences for both females and males.

Anorexia Nervosa

Characterized by self-stervation and ecessive weight loss.


  • Refusal to maintain boidy weight at or above minimally normal weight for height, body type, age, and activity level
  • Intense fear of weight gain or being "fat"
  • Feeling "fat" or overweight despite dramatic weight loss
  • Loss of menstrual periods
  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape

Health Consequences:

  • In anorexia nervosa's cycle of self-starvation, the body is denied the essential nutrients it needs to function normally. Thus, the body is forced to slow down all its processes to conserve energy, resulting in serious medical consequences.
  • Abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure, which means that the heart muscle is changing. The risk for heart failure as the heart rate and blood pressure levels sink lower and lower.
  • Reduction of bone desity (osteoporosis), which result in dry, brittle bones.
  • Muscle loss and weakness.
  • Servere dehydration, which can result in kidney failure.
  • Fainting, fatigue, and overall weakness.
  • Dry hair and skin; hair loss is common.
  • Growth of a downy layer of hair called lanugo all over the body, including the face, in an effort to keep the body warm.

Bulimia Nervosa

Characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging. Bulimia includes eating large amounts of food--more than most people would eat in one meal-- in short periods of time, then getting rid of the food and calories through vomitting, laxative abuse, or over-exercising.


  • Repeated episodes of bingeing and purging
  • Feeling out of control during a binge and eating beyond the point of comfortable fullness.
  • Purging after a binge, (typically by self-induced vomitting, abuse of laxatives, diet pills and/or diuretics, excessive exercise, or fasting)
  • Frequent dieting
  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape

Health Consequences:

  • The recurrent binge-and-purge cycles of bulimia can affect the entire digestive system and can lead tgo electrolyte and chemical imbalances in the body that affect the heart and other major organ functions.
  • Electrolyte imbalances that can lead to irregular heartbeats and possibly heart failure and death. Electrolyte imablance is caused by dehydration and loss of potassium, sodium and chloride from the body as a result of purging behaviors.
  • Potential for gastric rupture during periods of beingeing.
  • Inflammation and possible rupture during periods of beingeing.
  • Tooth decay and staining from stomach acids released during frequent vomitting.
  • Chronic irregular bowel movements and constipation as a result of laxative abuse.
  • Peptic ulcers and pancreatitis.

Binge Eating Disorder

Also known as compulsive overeating, it is characterized primarily by periods of unctrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full.


  • Sporadic fasts or repetitive diets which often lead to feelings of shame or shelf hatred after a binge.
  • A struggle with anxiety, depression, and loneliness, which can contribute to their unhealthy episodes of binge eating.
  • Body weight that may vary from normal to mild moderate, or severe obesity.

Health Consequences:

  • Binge eating disorder often results in many of the same health reisks associated with clinical obesity.
  • High blood pressure.
  • high cholesterol levels.
  • Heart disease as result of elevated triglyceride levels.
  • Type II Diabetes mellitus.
  • Gallbladder disease.

Muscle Dysmorphia

Also known as Reverse Anorexia or Bigorexia, it refers to phenomenon of people feeling they are too small or weak. This often occurs in men, but can occur in woman as well. In order to avoid feeling small, people with muscle dysmorphia tend to work out compulsively to increase muscle mass. This is often coupled with a regime of using sterioids or over-the-counter products such as crfeatine, pritein shakes, and nutritional supplements. In truth people with muscle dysmorphia arfe often rather large, with well-developed muscles.

The consequences of muscle dysmorphia are physical and emotional. People often avoid public situations because they feel embarrassed from being "too small." THeir work and personal relationships suffer because they build their lives around the gym and their exercise routine. Some people report a fear of "shrinking" if they miss a day at the gym. The use of steroids or other similar products often injuries internal organs, causes acne, sexual problems, and hair loss.

Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (ENDOS)

Can include some combinations of the signs and sumptoms of anorexia, bulimia, and/or binge eating disorder. While these behaviors may not be clinically considered a full syndrome eating disorder, they can still be physically dangerous and emotionally draining. ALl eating disorders require professional help.

Causes of Eating Disorders

While eating disorders may begin with preoccupations with food and weight, they are most often much more than food.

Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a combination of long-standing behav

Eating disorders are complex condtionas that arise form a combination of long-standing behavioral, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors. Scientists and researchers are still learning about the underlying causes of theses emotionally and physically damaging condtions. WE do know, however, about some of the general issues taht can contribute to the development of eating disorders.

People with eating disorders often use food and the control of food in an attempt to compensate for feelings and emotions that may otherwise seem overwhelming. For some, dieting bingeing, and purging may begin as a way to cope with painful emotions and to feel in control of one's life, but ultimately, these behaviors will damage a person's physical and emotional health, self-esteem, and sense of competence and control.

Psychological factors that can contribute to eating disorders:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of inadequacy or lack of control in life
  • Depression, anxiety, anger, or loneliness

Interpersonal factors that can contribute to eating disorders:

  • Troubled family and personal relationships.
  • Difficulty expressing emotions and feelings.
  • History of being teased of ridiculed based on size or weight.
  • History of physical or sexual abuse.

Content taken from Ohio State University

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