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Fitness for Life

The physical activity pyramid classifies activities by type and associated benefits. It is a good way to illustrate different types of activities and how each contributes to the development of health, wellness, and physical fitness. The four levels of the pyramid are based on the beneficial health and outcomes associated with regular physical activity.

Activities lower in the pyramid require more frequent participation, whereas activities higher in the pyramid require less frequency. Level 1 is the lifestyle physical activity which is encouraged as a part of everyday living and can contribute significantly to good health, wellness, and fitness. It can be viewed as the baseline, or minimal, activity that should be performed, also known as moderate activity. Level 2 are aerobic, sport and recreation activities, which are more intensive with long periods of time without stopping, but elevate the heart rate significantly, also known as vigorous activities. Level 3 include flexibility (stretching) exercises are a type of physical activity that is planned specifically to develop flexibility. Level 4 is named inactivity and that it is why has been placed at the top of the pyramid because it should be minimized. Rest is important to good health but too much inactivity results in low fitness as well as poor health and wellness.
My personal activity assessment is level 2 and level 3 of the pyramid. We live in a residential area, which offer a Jewish Community Center YM-YWHA, in which we are members and our children compete in the swim team. My wife and I made the commitment that While our children are swimming , We Are performing four days of fitness activities during the week ; Monday Through Thursday 3:30 pm to 5:00pm . On Friday 5:15pm to 6:15pm we take a group power class which uses moves from traditional strength training and programs these movements to music, creating a simple, fun and effective way to train in groups. The class starts with a comprehensive warm up, followed by eight songs that focus on specific muscle groups, and finishes with a well earned stretch. We are happy with all these changes especially with the extra energy that our body supports due to this new lifestyle. My goals are to continue exercising more frequently and increase my level of fitness. Next year I will try other courses, such as boxing combos, body sculpting, karate and start playing tennis or strength and conditioning. All these changes are important to me because with a big family I really need to stay healthy; I want to enjoy my children and to be an example to them.
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease, as well as a positive concept emphasizing social, personal resources, and physical capacities. Wellness is the quality of being healthy in body and mind, including social, emotional, mental, spiritual and physically. It expands everyone’s potential to quality of life, work effectively and makes good contribution to society. It reflects how a person feels about life and function effectively showing a positive state of good health. Healthy lifestyles are ways to prevent illness and early death in our society, a variety of activities include physical activity, eating well, managing stress and time, avoiding destructive habits, practicing safe sex, being an informed consumer, adopting good health and safety habits and learning first aid.
With this class you can find a healthy lifestyle based on your personal needs, which in my case include making changes in my daily eating habits, start a good regular physical activity, managing time, stress, avoiding bad habits in food and time to physical activity, adopt good health and safety habits to my whole family. I started my plan four months ago and including my wife and children, all these changes are important to all of us in order to avoid over weight and the most importantly my family will have good health, wellness and healthy lifestyle.
Before starting this wonderful class, I never had time to make a regular physical activity due to all the excuses that you can imaging with small kids, a business and an exigent family to attend during the weekends. Now my plan of improvement includes my family. and it starts with our daily eating habits including more vegetables, salads and fruits to our diet. I have a construction company which requires a lot of physical activity but mostly it puts the strain on my shoulders and lower back. By exercising, I have reduced my back pain and lost fifteen pounds and reduce my clothes size from thirty six to thirty four. All these changes have been possible thanks to my new food habits and the support my wife and children provide.
The lab #5b have been increasing, the first time in level 1 I was performing 1 day of 30+ minutes of lifestyle activities. Currently, I am performing 4 to 5 days including climbing the stairs rather than the elevator, walking to the supermarket rather than ride, parking my car far away from the building or stores. Level 2 and 3 increased from 2 days to 3 days including the gym days. Level 4 continue same no inactivity during the week. Little by little the lifestyle activities have been increasing due to a positive outlook and a new way of life. The different is that every time I do an extra activity I am mentally prepared to do it without thinking that I am tire or that I need rest time. It is great progress to think in a positive way and I will continue doing all possible to improve my exercise time.
Exercise logs from the beginning of January till present it include a summary by month of a weekly type of exercise.

My improvements continue to change as I constantly try different exercises and routines to find a balance in physical and mental activities that will bring enjoyment and lasting results to my health.
My personal self management skills started with a contemplation level of thinking about the changes in my physical activities. I got ready by making a lifestyle change. Now I am in the action level making more constant the physical activity on a weekly base. I plan to continue with a maintenance level, which means improving my health and well being. Factors of healthy behavior are personal, predisposing, enabling, and reinforcing. Personal factors affect health behaviors but are often out of or personal control. Some examples are age, gender, heredity, social status, and current health and fitness levels. With my age at 40+ years old I do not have the same energy such as when I was 18 years old but now I have a positive mind. Predisposing factors make you more likely to adopt a health lifestyle, such as participation in regular physical activity, a part of your normal routine. Such example would be a member of a health fitness center and start going regularly starting with a weekly base activity. Enabling factors help you carry out your healthy lifestyle plan. A good example is belief in you thinking that you can be successful with a new lifestyle and self efficacy performing at least 3 days of fitness exercises. Reinforcing factors are important in adhering to lifestyle changes. Once a person has reached the action or maintenance stage, it is important to stay at this high level. Reinforcing factors help people stick with a behavior change. In my personal case, I have support from my family, friend and relatives, if I have to change my weekly schedule that week my wife takes the kids to the Y and I make the time changes to fit the schedule , I don’t aloud other factors to take priority.
Warm-up is light to moderate activity done prior to the workout. Its purpose is to reduce the risk of injury and soreness and possibly to improve performance in a physical activity. Cool-Down is light to moderate tapering-off activity after vigorous exercise; often consisting of the same exercises used in the warm-up. Progressive resistance training is when the body adapts and improves; the muscles and systems of the body must be challenged. The concept PRE is when frequency, intensity, and duration of lifts are progressively increased to maintain an effective stimulus as the muscle fitness improves. PRE is the type of physical activity done with the intent of improving muscle fitness. Cardiovascular fitness is generally considered to be the most important aspect of physical fitness. Those who possess reasonable amounts of fitness have a decreased risk for heart disease, reduced risk for premature death, and improved quality of life. Regular cardiovascular exercise promotes fitness and provides additional health and wellness benefits that extend well beyond reducing risks for disease.
Calisthenics exercises are those that don’t need any equipment. Instead, you use your own bodyweight to provide the resistance you need to build strength and endurance. Abdominals are designed to increase the strength of the abdominal muscles. They are important for maintaining a neutral pelvis, good posture, prevents backache associated with lordosis and they must hold stretches for 15 to 30 seconds. Some kinds of abdominals are reverse curl, crunch or curl up crunch with twist and sitting tucks. Flexibility is not the same thing as stretching. Flexibility is a component of health related physical fitness. Stretching is the primary technique used to improve the state of one’s flexibility. Stretching is designed to increaser strength in the muscles and to improve range of motion. They are helpful in preventing and resolving symptoms of pain and for relieving trigger points. They must be hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Strength is the amount of force you can produce with a single maximal effort of a muscle group. Muscular endurance is the capacity of the skeletal muscles or group of muscles to continue contraction over a long period of time. You need both strength and muscular endurance to increase work capacity; to decrease the chance of injury; to prevent low back pain, poor posture, and other hypokinetic conditions and to improve athletic performance. Exercises for core strength would include crunch, reverse curl, crunch with twist, sitting tucks, hands and knees balance, marching, side step and squatting. Strength and muscular endurance self assessments include seated press or chest press and let press.
My balanced exercise plan and logging system exercises start with 3-5 minutes of cardiovascular walk or jog warm up prior to muscle stretching. Then, hold calf, hamstring and seated side stretchers for 30 seconds each one during 3 or 4 minutes. Also leg hug, zipper and sometimes side, hip, thigh or legs stretches for other 3 minutes. My plan continues with a 10-13 minutes with eight calisthenics exercises. Push ups and let down develops the muscles of the arms, shoulders and chest. Modified pull ups help to develop the muscles of the arms and shoulders. Dips helps with the latissimus dorsi, deltoid, rhomboid, and triceps. Crunch or curl up develops the upper abdominal muscles. Trunk lift helps the muscles of the upper back and corrects round shoulders. Side leg raises and lower let lift work with the muscles on the outside and inside of thighs. Alternate leg kneel develops the muscles of the legs and kips. It is good include abdominal exercises such as reverse curl, crunch with out and with twist and sitting tucks for another 8-10 minutes. After all of these basic exercises I start my muscle strengthening routine my future goals include to increase the days going to the gym. One alternative would be to take Sundays morning and enjoy 45-60 minutes of dance class or gym exercises with more section of abdominal following in wall support, hands and knees, crunch and reverse curl. But I have to take in consideration the church services hours. Thanks God my Christian Church offers 3 different services in Sunday including early in the morning or late in the afternoon. At the same time I need to follow my doctors advices on the amount of force I can apply do to recent abdominal surgery. I will improve my resistance training section by doing more muscle exercises such as abdominals to get a better abdominal shape, or increasing the seconds for each section during my flexibility, stretching, and endurance exercises. Currently I can hold 3 section of 12 reverse and crunch curl up, those would increased during the next four to six weeks to 4 sections of 15. It will be a little difficult but during the end of the year I will be in better physical shape, including my diet food plan.
7-day meal plan would include the following table, The amounts of food you need every day depends on your age, body size, activity level, whether you are male or female and if you or pregnant or breast feeding.

All service portions must be 1 cup, juices 8 ounces, meat, chicken or fish 50-100 grams, cheese 2 slices, yogurt ¾ cup, 1 medium size vegetables or fruit, 1 slice bread, 30grs cereal or ¾ cup.
Personally I have gained a lot of benefits from this class. My self motivation to continue with this new lifestyle is knowing that I will have a smaller clothe size, same as when I was 20 years old ( size 30 ), feeling strong and unstoppable. During the last two months of this wonderful new lifestyle I have reduced from size 36 to 34 in pants size. For me it is spectacular because I don’t feel hungry and I am full of energy. I work with a level of enthusiasm I haven’t felt in years. Believing in my self, planning the extra activities with my family and children, it is fantastic. God bless you Professor Weitzmann for your dedication, positive mind and high enthusiasm to teach us a new way to see ourselves and the society.