To maintain heart health at peak levels, Health Canada and the Institute of Medicine recommends that children and adults spend up to at least one hour daily in moderate activity such as walking, playing golf, swimming, dancing, gardening, etc. Walking briskly, running, jogging, fast cycling, aerobics, playing competitive sports e.g. hockey, football, etc. are examples of intense physical activities.
Because carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can be used as fuel by the body, it is recommended that adults get 45%-65% of their total energy requirements from carbohydrates, 20%-35% from fat, and 10%-35% from protein. Infants and very young children’s nutritional needs are similar to adults except they need more fat – about 25% to 40%, This is because their bodies burn more fat than adults.
It is important to balance physical activity with total caloric intake. Total caloric requirements varies from person to person depending on age, height, weight, gender, level of physical activity, and medical condition (chronic or acute illness).
For example, a 30 year-old 5’5″ sedentary woman weighing 111 to 150 pounds can consume 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day. If she becomes moderately active (exercises for one hour, 5-7 days per week), she can consume 2,000 to 2,500 calories. With intense exercise, she can consume 2,500 to 2,800 calories.
Health benefits from regular exercise is cumulative. Sedentary persons can begin an exercise program by walking 4 miles per hour for 60 minutes everyday and gradually working at a higher intensity workout like jogging for 20-30 minutes 4-7 days a week. for weight loss.