Physical activity and good physical fitness can reduce risk of illness and
contribute to optimal health and wellness.
After completing this concept the student should be able to:
- Describe the ways in which activity and fitness contribute to health and
- Identify and define important hypokinetic diseases.
- Identify and define terms related to cardiovascular diseases and its corresponding
- Explain the relationship of activity and fitness to cardiovascular health.
- Describe the theories for the beneficial effects of activity on the heart.
- Describe the theories for the beneficial effects of activity on preventing
- Explain the relationship of activity and fitness to other hypokinetic conditions.
- Explain the effects of activity and fitness on non-hypokinetic conditions.
Angina Pectoris Chest or arm pain resulting from reduced oxygen
supply to the heart muscle.
Arteriosclerosis Hardening of the arteries due to conditions that
causes the arterial walls to become thick, hard, and non-elastic.
Atherosclerosis The deposition of materials along the arterial walls--a
type of arteriosclerosis.
Chronic Disease A disease or illness that is associated with lifestyle
or environmental factors as opposed to infectious diseases (hypokinetic diseases
are considered to be chronic diseases).
Congestive Heart Failure The inability of the heart muscle to pump
the blood at a life-sustaining rate. Coronary Collateral Circulation Circulation
of blood to the heart muscle associated with the blood-carrying capacity of
a specific vessel or development of collateral vessels (extra blood vessels).
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Diseases of the heart muscle and the
blood vessels that supply it with oxygen, including heart attack.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) A broad classification of diseases of the heart
and blood vessels that include CHD as well has high blood pressure, stroke,
and peripheral vascular disease.
Coronary Occlusion The blocking of the coronary blood vessels.
Diastolic Blood Pressure The second blood pressure often called "resting
pressure". It is the pressure in the arteries at its lowest level occurring
just before the next beat of the heart.
Emotional Storm A traumatic emotional experience that is likely
to affect the human organism physiologically.
Fibrin The substance that in combination with blood cells forms
High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) A blood substance that picks up cholesterol
and helps remove it from the body; often called "good cholesterol."
Hyperkinetic Condition A disease/illness or health condition caused
by or contributed to by too much physical activity.
Hypertension High blood pressure.
Hypokinetic Diseases or Conditions Hypo means "under"
or "too little," and kinetic means movement or activity. Thus,
hypokinetic means "too little activity." A hypokinetic disease or
condition is associated with lack of physical activity or too little regular
exercise. Examples of such conditions include heart disease, low back pain,
adult-onset diabetes, and obesity.
Insulin A hormone secreted by the pancreas that regulates levels of sugar in
Insulin Sensitivity A condition that occurs when insulin becomes ineffective
or less effective than is necessary to regulate sugar levels in the blood.
Insulin Resistance A person with insulin resistance has decreased insulin sensitivity-the
body's cells are not sensitive to insulin so they resist it and sugar levels
are not regulated as they should be.
Lipids All fats and fatty substances.
Lipoprotein Fat-carrying protein in the blood.
Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) A core of cholesterol surrounded by
protein; the core is often called "bad cholesterol."
Osteoporosis A condition associated with low bone density and subsequent bone
fragility leading to high risk of fracture.
Parasympathetic Nervous System Branch of the autonomic nervous system
that slows the heart rate.
Peripheral Vascular Disease Lack of oxygen supply to the working
muscles and tissues of the arms and legs resulting from decreased blood supply.
Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident or CVA) A condition in which the
brain, or part of the brain, receives insufficient oxygen as a result of diminished
blood supply; sometimes called apoplexy.
Sympathetic Nervous System Branch of the autonomic nervous system
that prepares the body for activity by speeding up the heart rate.
Systolic Blood Pressure The upper blood pressure number often called working
blood pressure. It represents the pressure in the arteries at its highest level
just after the heart beats.
Triglyceride A type of blood fat associated with increased risk of heart disease.
Facts about Physical Activity, Fitness, and Disease Prevention/Treatment
- There are three major ways in which regular physical activity and good fitness
contribute to optimal health and wellness.
- Too many adults suffer from hypokinetic diseases.
- The link between regular physical activity and good health is now well documented.
- Regular physical activity may overcome the effects of heredity over a lifetime.
- Hypokinetic diseases and conditions have many causes.
The Facts about Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Diseases
- There are many types of cardiovascular diseases.
- The various forms of cardiovascular disease are the leading killers in automated
- A wealth of statistical evidence led to the conclusion that physical inactivity
is a primary risk factor for CHD.
The Facts about Physical Activity and the Healthy Heart
- There is evidence that regular physical activity will increase the ability
of the heart muscle to pump blood as well as oxygen.
The Facts about Physical Activity and Atherosclerosis
- Atherosclerosis is implicated in many cardiovascular diseases.
- Atherosclerosis, which begins early in life, is the result of a systematic
build-up of deposits in an arterial wall.
- There is evidence that regular physical activity can help prevent atherosclerosis.
- Lipid Deposit Theory
- Protective Protein Theory
- Blood Coagulant (Fibrin and Platelet) Theory
The Facts about Physical Activity and Heart Attack
- Heart attack is the most prevalent and serious of all cardiovascular diseases.
- Regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart attack (coronary occlusion).
- There is evidence that regular exercise can improve coronary circulation
and thus reduce the chances of a heart attack or dying from one.
- The heart of the inactive person is less able to resist stress and is more
susceptible to an emotional storm that may precipitate a heart attack.
- Regular physical activity is one effective means of rehabilitation for a
person who has coronary heart disease or who has had a heart attack.
Physical Activity and Other Cardiovascular Diseases
- Regular physical activity and accompanying good physical fitness are associated
with a reduced risk of high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of stroke.
- Regular physical activity is helpful in the prevention of peripheral vascular
The Facts about Physical Activity and Other Hypokinetic Conditions
- Physical activity reduces the risk of some forms of cancer.
- Physical activity plays an important role in the management and treatment
of Type II diabetes.
- Regular physical activity is important to maintaining bone density and decreasing
risk of osteoporosis.
- Active people who possess good muscle fitness are less likely to have back
and other musculoskeletal problems than inactive, unfit people.
- Physical activity is important in maintaining a healthy body weight and
avoiding the numerous health conditions associated with obesity.
- Physical activity reduces the risk and severity of a variety of common mental
(emotional) health disorders Common mental (emotional) health disorders can
be considered hypokinetic conditions.
- Regular physical activity can have positive effects on some non-hypokinetic
- Chronic Pain.
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
Facts about Physical Activity and Aging
- Regular physical activity can improve fitness and improve functioning among
- Regular physical activity can compress illness and limited functioning into
a shorter period of life.
Facts about Health, Fitness, and Wellness Promotion
- Physical activity enhances metabolic fitness that can reduce risk of a variety
of health problems.
- Good health-related physical fitness and regular physical activity are important
to health promotion and feeling well.
- Good physical fitness can help an individual enjoy his or her leisure time.
- Good physical fitness can help an individual work effectively and efficiently.
- Good physical fitness is essential to effective living.
- Good physical fitness may help you function safely and assist you in meeting
- Physical fitness is the basis for dynamic and creative activity.
- There are many economic benefits associated with employee physical activity.
The Facts about Risk Factors
- There are many different positive lifestyles that can reduce the risk of
- Not all risk factors are under your personal control.
- Altering risk factors can help reduce the risk of more than one condition
at the same time.
- Risk reduction does not guarantee freedom from disease.
- Reducing risk alters the probability of disease, but does not assure disease
- Too much physical activity can lead to hyperkinetic diseases or conditions.
Strategies for Action: The Facts
- A self-assessment of risk factors can help you modify your lifestyle to
reduce risk of heart disease.
- A general health and medical history completed now can provide a basis for
making health decisions in the future.
What are hypokinetic diseases? Give examples.
How does activity help prevent cardiovascular diseases?
How does activity help prevent cancer?
How does activity help to prevent back problems?
How does activity help to promote long-term weight control?
How does activity help to prevent or reduce risk of diabetes?
How does activity help to prevent osteoporosis?
How does activity benefit you as you grow older?
Lab 6a: Assessing Heart Disease Risk Factors
- Instruct students to complete the Heart Disease Risk Factor Questionnaire
- Have students record their unalterable, alterable, and total heart disease
risk scores in the Results sections using the ratings from the chart.
- Have students answer questions in the Conclusions and Implications section
of the lab report.
Comments / Suggestions:
- If students do not know their blood pressure or cholesterol, you may want
to take them to a clinic or invite an expert to take these measurements. Many
hospitals are willing to help set up small student-run health fairs on local
campuses to help serve the community and the student population.
- Many individuals have unalterable risk factors due to their family history
/ genetics. This is important information to students since they need to be
aware of their own risks. Mention, however, that it is not worth worrying
about things they can't change; Instead, they should take active efforts to
focus on the risk factors that are within their control.
- Most of the alterable risk factors are related to lifestyle behaviors. By
adopting healthy lifestyles, students can decrease their scores on the alterable
risk factors for various diseases. Have students discuss the steps they could
take to reduce their personal risks.
- Have students interview parents or grandparents about their current health
and produce a brief report. This project could be facilitated by providing
students with a checklist of common hypokinetic diseases that adults are susceptible
to and health behaviors that may relate to them. Encourage the students to
provide help and motivation to relatives and friends that have these lifestyle