Are you an athlete?

by Brooke on September 20, 2011

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There are so many different definitions for the word athlete.

A person who participates in an interscholastic, intercollegiate, or intramural athletic activity being conducted by an educational institution, or a professional athletic activity.

A person who is involved in athletics (sport), which involves track and field events, long distance, cross-country and road running, and racewalking.

A person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.

While studying for my board certified specialist in sports dietetics exam I came across even another definition.  My review material stated that an athlete is anyone who is physically active or exercises on a regular basis.  This definition is a little more lenient and I like that is gives more individuals the opportunity to strive for the title.

Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself an athlete it is important to stay active to prevent unnecessary health risks and reap the vast array of health benefits.  Here are the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2008) published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Children and Adolescents (aged 6–17)

  • Children and adolescents should do 1 hour (60 minutes) or more of physical activity every day.
  • Most of the 1 hour or more a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
  • As part of their daily physical activity, children and adolescents should do vigorous-intensity activity on at least 3 days per week. They also should do muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activity on at least 3 days per week.

Adults (aged 18–64)

  • Adults should do 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Additional health benefits are provided by increasing to 5 hours (300 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both.
  • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups performed on 2 or more days per week.

Older Adults (aged 65 and older)

  • Older adults should follow the adult guidelines. If this is not possible due to limiting chronic conditions, older adults should be as physically active as their abilities allow. They should avoid inactivity. Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they are at risk of falling.

Happy Fit and Healthy Tuesday!

Do you consider yourself an athlete?




{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily September 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm

It depends what day it is…. 😉


Dagny September 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm

You bet I qualify! And my resting heart rate in the 50s and rapid post-exercise heart rate recovery are the evidence.

Remember the “President’s Council on Physical Fitness”? A big deal when I was in school in the 70s. “Run, Jump, Pull up and Sit up” was the slogan. I never could accomplish the various performance trials and tests. A few years ago I discovered you could just BUY one of the medals, complete with the red, white, and blue ribbon to adorn your neck like an Olympic athlete. I bought one.


Brooke September 27, 2011 at 5:32 am

Haha! I remember those Dagny!!!


Kristen @ swanky dietitian September 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I wouldn’t classify myself as an athlete. I guess I should having now completed a half marathon.
I was never good at sports in school. Now that I’m older, I’ve found a like competition and challenges much better.


Brooke September 27, 2011 at 5:33 am

I bet you qualify 😉


Tanya@ Dine, Dash, and Deadlift September 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I consider myself an ex-athlete since I no longer train or compete at the level I did growing up and all through college. Now, I mostly just consider myself “athletic” since I still work out intensely by running and lifting.


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