Monday, April 14, 2003

Fit Bits: Ways to stay active and healthy

By Peggy O'Farrell
The Cincinnati Enquirer


Can-do: Attitude and intention are the two most important factors in pregnant women's decisions about exercising, say exercise physiologists at Penn State and the University of Florida.

"Her intention to exercise is the strongest determinant of her actual exercise behavior," Dr. Danielle Symons Downs, assistant professor of kinesiology at Penn State, said at the April 4 meeting of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in Philadelphia.

Downs and Dr. Heather A. Hausenblas, an assistant professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Florida, are studying how attitudes and behaviors regarding exercise change throughout a pregnancy.

Nearly 60 percent of women are sedentary during pregnancy, Downs said.

Their study, which followed 130 women, found that positive attitudes about the benefits of exercise were the strongest factor determining their intentions to exercise. A woman's ability to control obstructions to exercise - nausea and fatigue - ranked next.


Get fit: The Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, Hamilton County General Health District and Health Alliance have teamed to implement "Active for Life," a 20-week program to help adults 50 and older build moderate to vigorous physical activity into their daily lives.

Classes include:

• Lincoln Heights: 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesdays beginning May 6 or 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning May 7.

• West Chester Township: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Senior Citizens Inc., beginning May 6.

• Hamilton: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Senior Citizens Inc. Thursdays, beginning May 8.

Classes will begin in June in Kenwood and Fairfield.

Information: 946-7802.

Hot news

Small change: A new survey from the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition found that most Americans don't know that simple lifestyle changes can prevent weight gain.

The survey found that 40 percent of respondents thought they had to trim daily consumption by 500 calories to prevent weight gain. A recent study found that trimming 100 calories a day would stop weight gain.

Most respondents also overestimated what they need to do to burn more calories or eat less.

Other findings:

• 35 percent believed that burning 50 calories would require 30 minutes of brisk walking. It takes 10 minutes to do so.

• Only 16 percent knew that reducing ice cream servings by only two tablespoons eliminates 50 calories. 30 percent guessed five tablespoons.

• Women were more likely than men to underestimate how many calories walking or cutting ice cream servings would eliminate.

Shelf help

Six-pack: The Men's Health Cover Model Workout (Rodale; $19.95) by Owen McKibbin and Kelly Garrett features a four-part, 16-week exercise plan, menus and strategies for preventing injuries.

Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone, 768-8510; fax, 768-8330, or e-mail,

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