Be Active Your Way

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Name three health benefits of physical activity.
  • Recall the physical activity recommendations.
  • Identify three ways to be physically active at home and at work.
  • Use the Physical Activity Pyramid and Physical Activity Scoreboard handouts to help create a weekly physical activity routine.
  • Recognize how the Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type (FITT) formula can help them improve their physical activity levels.

Materials

Preparation

  1. Become familiar with the content of each handout prior to implementing the lesson. Photocopy the Recommended Minutes of Physical Activity for Adults, Health Benefits of Physical Activity, Keeping FITT, Physical Activity Scoreboard, and Physical Activity Pyramid handouts for each participant. If you are teaching this lesson in a series, you may want to reproduce only the handouts that are new to the group.

Instructions

  1. Distribute the Recommended Minutes of Physical Activity for Adults handout to each participant, and review the information. Explain to participants that to maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day. Explain that for most people, greater health benefits can be achieved by doing more physical activity. For example, to help manage body weight and prevent gradual weight gain, adults need 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity on most days of the week. To sustain weight loss, adults need 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day. Note that some people may need to consult with a health care provider before participating in this level of activity.
  2. Ask participants to describe some of the health benefits of being physically active. Write the responses on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see. Distribute the Health Benefits of Physical Activity handout, and ask participants to compare the responses listed on the board or sheet of paper with the information in the handout. Talk with participants about how physical activity complements fruit and vegetable consumption in improving a person's overall health. Encourage participants to ask questions and share their impressions.
  3. Engage participants in a discussion about the kinds of physical activities they like to do and how often they should be physically active each day. Ask participants to describe the types of physical activity they enjoy doing with their family members, friends, at work, and at home. Write the responses on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see. Distribute the Physical Activity Pyramid handout, and review the information with the class. Have participants compare the responses listed on the board or sheet of paper with the information in the handout. Talk with participants about the different benefits associated with moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity, strength training, and stretching. Encourage participants to ask questions and share their impressions.
  4. Using the Physical Activity Pyramid handout, talk with participants about strategies they can use to increase their levels of physical activity. Ask participants to share how they might make activities, such as walking, dancing, or bicycling more challenging. Write the responses on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see. Distribute the Keeping FITT handout, and review the FITT formula with the class. Demonstrate to participants how increasing the frequency, intensity, or time of a physical activity can make their activities more challenging while increasing the health benefits. Encourage participants to ask questions and share their impressions.
  5. Conclude the lesson by distributing the Physical Activity Scoreboard handout, and talk with participants about using the handout to track their progress. Direct their attention to the weekly goals section of the handout, and discuss with participants some helpful tips for being more physically active. Talk with them about teaming up with a friend or family member to be more physically active. Mention how social support can make living a healthy lifestyle much easier. Encourage participants to use the Physical Activity Pyramid, Keeping FITT, and Physical Activity Scoreboard handouts to create a weekly physical activity routine for themselves.

Expansion Ideas

Target Heart Rate

Photocopy and distribute the Target Heart Rate handout (p. H – 27) to participants. Ask participants what they have heard or know about target heart rate. Write the responses on the board or sheet of paper for the class to see. Review the Target Heart Rate handout with participants, and explain that the target heart rate is a tool that can be used to monitor their exertion levels when doing physical activity. Have participants calculate their target heart rate in step one, and then reinforce the information in steps two and three of the handout.

Buddy Up For Physical Activity

Work with participants who are interested in having a partner to set up a schedule for walking, bicycling, or doing aerobics together. Create a sign-up sheet where participants can leave their names and telephone numbers so they can call each other if they are interested.

Physical Activity Routine

Host a follow-up class a week after doing this lesson, and ask participants to bring their Physical Activity Scoreboard handouts. Have participants share with each other what they accomplished during the previous week and steps they took to meet their goals.

Tip

Invite a representative from YMCA, YWCA, or Parks and Recreation to present the lesson with you.

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