There are so many different definitions for the word athlete.
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?