The Physical Activity Pyramid

Just as the nutrition guidelines are outlined in the Food Guide Pyramid (Chapter 3), the guidelines for physical activity are diagrammed in the

Physical Activity Pyramid (Figure 4-2). This pyramid was designed to help people live an active lifestyle, reap the fitness and performance benefits of routine exercise, reduce the health risks associated with inactivity, and reduce the injury risks associated with too much activity.

Figure 4-2. The Physical Activity Pyramid

Figure 4-2. The Physical Activity Pyramid

F = frequency; I = intensity; T = time; exercise Type is in bold

Adapted from CB Corbin and RP Pangrazi. Physical Activity Pyramid Rebuffs Peak Experience. ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal 1998; 2(1): pages 12-17.

F = frequency; I = intensity; T = time; exercise Type is in bold

Adapted from CB Corbin and RP Pangrazi. Physical Activity Pyramid Rebuffs Peak Experience. ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal 1998; 2(1): pages 12-17.

The four levels are arranged according to their FITT principle recommendations. Activities at the base of the pyramid should be performed more frequently than the activities found at the top of the pyramid. Level 1 activities include household chores, walking to work, and walking up and down stairs. Level 2 activities include aerobic exercises and participation in sports and recreational activities. Level 3 consists of strength and flexibility exercises, while Level 4 includes sedentary activities, such as watching TV. Do Level 1-3 activities each day to get the most health benefits.

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