A few fun facts about fitness

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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We’ve all heard that working out is great for almost everyone, especially older folks. Why is this? Well, a few benefits that come with exercise include reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and other chronic diseases, better physical balance, increased bone mass, weight control, well-managed blood sugar, and insulin levels, improved mental health, and self-esteem. However, there may be a few aspects of exercise you might not know about. This week, let’s just have some fun and explore some exercise and fitness trivia and facts. 


While standing, you burn 100-200 calories on average. Compare that to burning 60-130 calories per hour while sitting. Depending on their personal basal metabolic rate, folks burn on average 50 calories every hour while they sleep. Exercise, particularly, weight training, keeps metabolism elevated after your workout, and continues to burn calories even as you rest. Regular exercise helps improve sleep cycles. 

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Consistent exercise helps lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, which are two major factors for coronary disease. It takes only 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week to experience cardiovascular benefits. That breaks down to less than 30 minutes per day. Regular exercise also reduces the risk of many cancers. It may lower cancer risks by helping to maintain a healthy weight, regulate hormone and insulin levels, and strengthen the immune system. Those who exercise routinely are at a lower risk of developing many types of cancer, including colorectal, uterine, and breast cancers. People who don’t regularly exercise may lose up to 80% of their muscular strength by the age of 65. That’s significant. 


Muscle and fat are completely different tissues. You can’t turn muscle into fat, or fat into muscle. Being dehydrated greatly impairs exercise performance. Muscle is 70-75% water, so if you’re dehydrated, it’s like running on flat tires. Fat contains just 14-22% water. Women burn more fat during exercise than men. Conversely, men tend to burn more fat than women post-workout. Regular exercise, particularly weight training, improves bone density in women and men. Both strength and aerobic training exercises reverse the effects of osteoporosis, reducing the risk of fractures in folks of all ages, though that’s especially important for older adults. 


It takes the use of 200 muscles to take a single step. The average person takes about 7,500 steps each day. Sticking to that average step count, an individual would walk about 110,000 miles by the age of 80. The pressure on your feet is equal to about 3-4 times your body weight with each step while running. 


Aerobic exercise acts as a buffer to reduce the effects of dementia while increasing cognitive performance. The heart is the hardest working muscle in the body. It beats approximately 100,000 times per day while pumping 2,000 gallons of blood. 


The knee is the largest, most complex joint in the body, which is one reason it is the most often injured. Only a third of adults reach the minimum recommended guidelines for weekly exercise, and fewer than 5% of adults in the United States engage in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, plus 1 in 4 aren’t active at all. Studies indicate that children’s physical activity levels correlate with those of their parents. 


You’re never too old to benefit from exercise. Some folks think that working out is just for the young, but it becomes even more important as you age. About 75% of elderly Americans don’t get enough exercise, which contributes to a range of health-related issues. The great news is that these trends can be reversed with a proper, consistent exercise regimen.  


I hope you’ve enjoyed these fitness facts, and remember, everyone can reap the benefits of physical activity and exercise, regardless of age, shape, or size. 


David Crocker is a nutritionist and master personal trainer. Questions? Email David at dwcrocker77@gmail.com or text to 864-494-6215.