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By studying this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Contrast exercise with physical activity; explain how both relate to a lower risk of CHD and improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF).

  2. Describe the current public health physical activity recommendation from the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines to improve the health status of sedentary U.S. adults.

  3. Explain what screening and progression mean for a person wanting to initiate an exercise program.

  4. Identify low-, moderate-, and vigorous-intensity activities, and describe the volume of physical activity (by time, MET-min, and if appropriate, steps) needed to achieve these thresholds.

  5. Identify the optimal range of frequency, intensity, time (duration), and type (FITT) of activity associated with improvements in CRF.

  6. Calculate a target heart rate range by either the heart rate reserve or percent of maximal HR method.

  7. Discuss guidelines related to progression that facilitate the transition from easy to more demanding exercise programs.

  8. Explain how the target heart rate (THR) helps adjust exercise intensity in times of high heat, humidity, or while at altitude.

  9. Describe the health benefits of resistance training and summarize recommended resistance-training and stretching programs for adults.


Prescription of Exercise

  • Dose-Response

  • Physical Activity and Health

  • Physical Activity Guidelines to Improve Health

  • Physical Activity Volume

  • Physical Activity Intensity Thresholds

  • Light-intensity Physical Activity, Step Counts, and Health

General Guidelines for Improving Fitness

  • VO2 max and Health

  • Assessing VO2 max

  • Estimating VO2 max

  • Screening

  • Progression

  • Warm-Up, Stretch, and Cool-Down, Stretch

Exercise Prescription for CRF

  • Frequency

  • Intensity

  • Time (Duration)

  • Monitoring Heart Rate

Sequence of Physical Activity

  • Walking

  • Jogging

  • Games and Sports

Strength and Flexibility Training

Environmental Concerns

Key Terms


effect (response)


low-intensity physical activity

moderate-intensity physical


physical activity (PA)

physical fitness

step counts

target heart rate (THR) range

vigorous-intensity physical


In Chap. 15, we discussed a variety of risk factors related to cardiovascular and other diseases. As explained in Chap. 15, numerous studies (74, 76, 87, 93) confirm that physical inactivity is a primary risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), similar to smoking, hypertension, and high serum cholesterol. These studies also show that regular vigorous physical activity reduces the risk of CHD in those who smoke or are hypertensive (64, 75). Based on this growing body of evidence, the American Heart Association (AHA) recognized physical inactivity as a major CHD risk factor (8). Finally, epidemiological studies show that increases in physical activity (77) and fitness (14) reduce the death rate from all causes, including cancer and CHD. Based on this understanding, there is now consensus within the scientific and medical communities that physical activity is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle, both for disease prevention and recurrence. The recently released 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report overviews the most up-to-date research supporting the importance of physical ...

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