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The five components of physical fitness most important to health are cardiorespiratory endurance,
muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

Exercise improves the functioning of the heart and the ability of the cardiorespiratory system to carry
oxygen to the body's tissues. It also increases the efficiency of the body's metabolism and improves body

Exercise lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving blood fat levels, reducing high blood
pressure, and interfering with the disease process that causes coronary artery blockage.

Exercise reduces the risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes. It improves immune function and
psychological health and helps prevent injuries and low-back pain.

Everyone should accumulate at least 3060 minutes per day of moderate endurance-type physical activity.
Additional health and fitness benefits can be achieved through longer or more vigorous activity.

Cardiorespiratory endurance exercises stress a large portion of the body's muscle mass. Endurance
exercise should be performed three to five days per week for a total of 2060 minutes per day. Intensity
can be evaluated by measuring the heart rate.

Warming up before exercising and cooling down afterward improve your performance and decrease your
chances of injury.

Exercises that develop muscular strength and endurance involve exerting force against a significant
resistance. A strength-training program for general fitness typically involves one set of 812 repetitions of
810 exercises, at least two non-consecutive days per week.

A good stretching program includes exercises for all the major muscle groups and joints of the body. Do a
series of active, static stretches two to three days per week, ideally five to seven days per week. Hold each
stretch for 1530 seconds; do two to four repetitions. Stretch when muscles are warm.

Choose nstructors, equipment, and facilities carefully to enhance enjoyment and prevent injuries.

A well-balanced diet contains all the energy and nutrients needed to sustain a fitness program. When
exercising, remember to drink enough fluids.

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R-I-C-E) are treatments for muscle and joint injuries.

A desired level of fitness can be maintained by exercising three to five days a week at a consistent

Strategies for maintaining an exercise program over the long term include having meaningful goals,
varying the program, and trying new activities.



Fahey, T. 2013. Basic Weight Training for Men and Women, 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. Weight training
and plyometric exercises for fitness, weight control, and improved sports performance.

Fahey, T., P. Insel, and W. Roth. 2013. Fit and Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness,
10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. A comprehensive guide to developing a complete fitness program. 1/6
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Fenton, M. 2008. The Complete Guide to Walking, New and Revised: For Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness.
Guildford, Conn.: Lyons Press. Discusses walking as a fitness method and a way to avoid diseases, such as

Nieman, D. C. 2010. Exercise Testing and Prescription: A Health-Related Approach, 7th ed. New York:
McGraw-Hill. A comprehensive discussion of the effect of exercise and exercise testing and prescription.

Richmond, M. 2011. The Physiology Storybook: An Owner's Manual for the Human Body. Monterey, CA:
Healthy Learning. A discussion of human physiology and wellness written for the average person.

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Rothman, J., and T. LaFontaine. 2011. The Exercise Professional's Guide to Optimizing Health: Strategies for
Pre-venting and Reducing Chronic Disease. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Written for
professionals in association with the American College of Sports Medicine, the book describes how exercise can
help prevent and treat chronic disease.

Woods, R., and C. Jordon. 2010. Energy Every Day. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. A sensible guide to fitness
and nutrition that will help you attain your fitness goals.


The Internet addresses listed here were accurate at the time of publication.

American College of Sports Medicine. Provides brochures, publications, audiotapes, and videotapes on the
positive effects of exercise.

Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute. Provides research findings and recommendations to increase
population levels of physical activity and improve the health of all Canadians.

Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging. Provides information for, research about, and exercise programs
tailored specifically for older adults.

Canadian Diabetes Association. Supports people affected by diabetes by providing information, diabetes
research, education, service, and advocacy.

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Provides information about the society, conferences, publications,
press releases, and the physical activity guides.

Can-Fit-Pro. Provides certification and continuing education of group fitness instructors, personal fitness
trainers, and allied health professionals. 2/6
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CDC Physical Activity Information. Provides information on the benefits of physical activity and suggestions for
incorporating moderate physical activity into daily life.

Fitness Industry Council of Canada. Represents the Canadian fitness industry in pursuit of a more physically
active and healthy country.

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Provides information about heart disease, stroke, and healthy living in

Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Centers: Fitness. Offers information on incorporating physical activity and exercise
into your daily life.

MedlinePlus: Exercise and Physical Fitness. Provides links to news and reliable information about fitness and
exercise from government agencies and professional associations.

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Anabolic Steroid Abuse. Provides information and links about the dangers of
anabolic steroids.

Pace CanadaCounseling for Healthy, Active Living. Provides the Take the Physical Activity Readiness
Questionnaire (PAR-Q).

Public Health Agency of Canada. Provides physical activity information and tips for active living.

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U.S. Federal Trade Commission: Consumer ProtectionDiet, Health, and Fitness. Provides several brochures
with consumer advice about purchasing exercise equipment.

World Health Organization (WHO): Move for Health. Provides information about the WHO initiative to
promote increased physical activity.

See also the listings for Chapters 4, 5, and 7.


Active Healthy Kids Canada (2013). Are We Driving Our Kids to Unhealthy Habits? The 2013 Active Healthy
Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Toronto: Active Healthy Kids Canada, 3/6
9/8/2017 IEB Wireframe (retrieved February 10,


American College of Sports Medicine. 2009. ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

American College of Sports Medicine. 2009. ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and
Prescription, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

American College of Sports Medicine. 2011. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining
cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing
exercise, Medecine & Science in Sports Exercise 43(7): 13341359.

American Heart Association. 2010. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics2010 Update. Dallas: American Heart

Bertoli, S., et al. 2006. Nutritional status and dietary patterns in disabled people. Nutrition Metabolism and
Cardiovascular Diseases 16(2): 100112.

Blair, S. N., and J. N. Morris. 2009. Healthy heartsand the universal benefits of being physically active:
physical activity and health. Annals of Epidemiology 19(4): 253256.

Brooks, G. A., et al. 2005. Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and Its Applications, 4th ed. New York:

Bryan, S. N., et al. 2006. Physical activity and ethnicity: Evidence from the Canadian Community Health
Survey. Canadian Journal of Public Health 97(4): 271276.

Bryan, S., and P. Walsh. 2004. Physical activity and obesity in Canadian women. BMC Women's Health 4(1
Suppl.): S6.

Carnathon, M. R., M. Gulati, and P. Greenland. 2006. Prevalence and cardiovascular disease correlates of low
cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescents and adults. Journal of the American Medical Association 294(23): 2981

Colley R.C., D. Garriguet, I. Janssen, C. Craig, J. Clarke, and M.S. Tremblay. 2011. Physical activity of
Canadian children and youth: Accelerometer results from the 20072009 Canadian Health Measures Survey
Health Reports 2(1): 1220.

Cooper, C. B. 2006. Exercise testing does not have to be complicated. Chronic Respiratory Disease 3(2): 107

Dal Maso, L., et al. 2006. Lifetime occupational and recreational physical activity and risk of benign prostatic
hyperplasia. International Journal of Cancer 118(10): 26322635.

Dishman, R. K., et al. 2006. Neurobiology of exercise. Obesity (Silver Spring) 14(3): 345356.

Fahey, T. 2013. Basic Weight Training for Men and Women, 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Fahey, T., P. Insel, and W. Roth. 2013. Fit and Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness,
10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Fenicchia, L. M., et al. 2004. Influence of resistance exercise training on glucose control in women with type 2
diabetes. Metabolism 53(3): 284289. 4/6
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Franco, O. H., et al. 2005. Effects of physical activity on life expectancy with cardiovascular disease. Archives of
Internal Medicine 165(20): 23552360.

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Gillen, J.B, and M.J. Gibala. 2014. Is high-intensity interval training a time-efficient exercise strategy to
improve health and fitness? Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 39: 14 (2014)

Gunter, M. J., and M. F. Leitzmann. 2006. Obesity and colorectal cancer: Epidemiology, mechanisms and
candidate genes. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 17(3): 145156.

Hambrecht, R., and S. Gielen. 2005. Essay: Hunter-gatherer to sedentary lifestyle. Lancet 366(1 Suppl.): S60

Hart, L. 2006. Exercise therapy for nonspecific low-back pain: A meta-analysis. Clinical Journal of Sports
Medicine 16(2): 189190.

Haskell, W. L., et al. 2007. Physical activity and public health: Updated recommendations for adults from the
American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation 116(9): 10811093.

Janssen, I. 2012. Health care costs of physical inactivity in Canadian adults. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and
Metabolism 37(4): 803806.

John, E. M., P. L. Horn-Ross, and J. Koo. 2004. Lifetime physical activity and breast cancer risk in a multiethnic
population. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 12(11 Pt. 1): 11431152.

Katzmarzyk, P. T., N. Gledhill, and R. J. Shephard. 2000. The economic burden of physical inactivity in Canada.
Canadian Medical Association Journal 163(11): 14351440.

Kelly, C. W. 2005. Commitment to Health Scale. Journal of Nursing Measurement 13(3): 219229.

Lakka, T. A., and C. Bouchard. 2005. Physical activity, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Handbook of
Experimental Pharmacology 2005(170): 137163.

Larson, E. B., et al. 2006. Exercise is associated with reduced risk for incident dementia among persons 65 years
of age and older. Annals of Internal Medicine 144(2): 7381.

LaRoche, D. P., and D. A. Connolly. 2006. Effects of stretching on passive muscle tension and response to
eccentric exercise. American Journal of Sports Medicine 34(6): 10001007.

Moore, SC. Et al. 2012. Leisure Time Physical Activity of Moderate to Vigorous Intensity and Mortality: A
Large Pooled Cohort Analysis. PLOS Medicine. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001335

Nattiv, A., et al. 2007. American College of Sports Medicine position stand: The female athlete triad. Medicine
and Science in Sports and Exercise 39(10): 18671882.

Nelson, M. E., et al. 2007. Physical activity and public health in older adults: Recommendations from the
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Pescatello, L. S., et al. 2004. American College of Sports Medicine position stand: Exercise and hypertension.
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Sawka, M. N., et al. 2005. Human water needs. Nutritional Reviews 63(6 Pt. 2): S30S39. 5/6
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Sawka, M. N., et al. 2007. American College of Sports Medicine position stand: Exercise and fluid replacement.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 39(2): 377390.

Shehab, R., et al. 2006. Pre-exercise stretching and sports-related injuries: Knowledge, attitudes and practices.
Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine 16(3): 228231.

Statistics Canada. 2013. Directly measured physical activity of Canadian adults, 2007 to 2011. Catalogue no.82-
625-X Health Fact Sheets.

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