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How Much Do YOU Know About Physical Fitness?

We’ve talked about the importance of physical activity A LOT on The Diabetes Site. But we know it can be daunting starting a new exercise program can be, and how difficult it can feel to maintain one. So, whether you’ve recently fallen off the fitness wagon, or are just beginning your journey to better health are and trying to learn more about fitness, this will help you gets started!

Test your fitness knowledge and learn how much you really know!

Senior couple jogging on the beach

True or False:

1. You only have to exercise if you need to lose weight.
FALSE: Everyone benefits from exercise. The benefits of physical activity include:

*Maintaining or losing weight
*Improving your mood
*Reducing the risk of many chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer
*Strengthening your heart and lungs
*Helping you sleep better
*Enhancing your sex life

2. To get healthy you must exercise at least 60 minutes every day.
FALSE: Getting healthy doesn’t require 60 minutes every day, although more is better. Try the following to set aside time for exercise:

*Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five days a week, such as walking briskly or riding your bike.
*At a minimum, exercise at least 20 minutes, 3 days a week, along with strength training exercises twice a week
*If your schedule is tight, sneak in three, 10-minute activity periods during the day

3. Unless you join a health club, you cannot really get in shape.
FALSE: There’s lots of ways to get in shape without joining a gym:
*Find a walking partner and walk during part of your lunch hour
*Take the stairs instead of the elevator
*See if your local library has exercise videos to check out
*Take the dog for a walk
*Go for a brisk walk around the mall
*Park at the far end of the shopping center parking lot
*Use the track at the nearest school
*Run outside
*There are also fitness videos online and television shows that you can do in your own home

4. If you exercise, you can eat anything you want.
FALSE: When you exercise regularly, you burn calories. However, to maintain a healthy weight, you must achieve a balance. To keep your weight in check, keep in mind not just what you eat—but how much.

5. Regular exercise may reduce your need to take certain medicines.
TRUE: Exercise offers an added benefit to people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Regular activity can help control blood glucose levels and lower blood pressure—and may reduce the need for medicines.

6. You only need to exercise until age 55.
FALSE: Exercise is important for all people. A natural part of the aging process is a loss of muscle mass. Regular activity is the only way to replace that muscle mass. If you do not exercise and do not replace the muscle mass, your body fat percentage increases. Physical activity also helps maintain mental and physical stamina.

young fitness woman legs walking on forest trail

7. Regular activity is necessary to maintain the benefits of exercise.
TRUE: The key to maintaining good physical and mental health is regular activity. If you stop exercising, you may notice a quick decline in your fitness level. After a break in your exercise plan, restart slowly and gradually rebuild your stamina. If a health problem forces you to stop exercising, check with your doctor before restarting your routine.

8. Aerobic exercises increase your rate of breathing.
TRUE: To get the benefits of aerobic exercise, you should notice an increase in your rate of breathing, but not to the point of gasping for air—you should still be able to carry on a conversation.

9. When you lift weights, you should exhale as you are lifting.
TRUE: Most weight-training exercises require you to exhale as you are lifting. Inhaling may make the exercise more difficult. Holding your breath may raise your blood pressure—and even cause fainting.

10. The best fitness plan includes a combination of cardiovascular fitness, strength training, and stretching.
TRUE: To ensure you meet all of your body’s fitness needs, choose a fitness plan that will:
*Strengthen your cardiovascular system (like aerobics classes or brisk walking)
*Strengthen your muscles (like weight lifting or resistance training)
*Increase your flexibility (like stretching exercises or yoga)

How did you do? As always, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan. For more on physical fitness, go to the American Diabetes Association.

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