The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Hour a day helps keep doctors away

Students need at least one hour of daily exercise to maintain good health and physical fitness, according to health guidelines released Sept. 5 by the Institute of Medicine.

The recommendation is twice the amount of previous daily exercise standards offered by the medical group.

An hour of daily exercise also helps prevent chronic illnesses, stated the Institute of Medicine, which is a group of well-known health care educators.

Stephany Cramer, a personal trainer at Crest Wellness Fitness Center on upper campus, said students can achieve the daily exercise standards by waking up earlier to work out before class.

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Cramer said getting up an hour earlier before class and going for a run or workout is a good way to accommodate exercising during a busy day.

With all the social and academic pressure of college, Cramer said working out is a great way to relieve stress and get into shape.

The fitness center’s exercise bikes feature places to set books so students can read while working out, she said.

Dr. Donald Bredle, an exercise physiologist on campus, said the guidelines are advisory and do not need to be followed exactly.

Bredle said the message of the institute’s guidelines is that the balance of calories consumed and the calories burned determine if a person gains weight through stored body fat.

“In other words, if you eat like a horse, you better exercise like a horse,” Bredle said.

The dietary standards reflect the newest information and incorporate more flexibility in a diet.

According to the report, carbohydrates, fat and protein – the three main components of a diet – can substitute for each other to some extent. The recommendations are similar to the previous ones, but not quite as rigid.

Carbohydrates now should comprise between 45 and 65 percent of a diet, while the prior reports suggested 50 percent. Fat is about 20 to 35 percent of a diet and protein intake is from 10 to 35 percent.

With the diet advice, Bredle recommended people eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. However, he said he knows those items are difficult for students to get when they are in a hurry.

Exercising should be based on the individual’s fitness goals, Bredle said. If one is trying to maintain basic health and cardiovascular fitness, 45 minutes to an hour of moderate aerobic activity would be ideal, he said.

This exercise should be done three to five days a week to get the heart beating at 50 to 80 percent of the maximum heart rate, Bredle said.

If one is trying to lose excess stored fat, Bredle recommended an hour of exercise six to seven days a week.

The best exercise programs for anyone, Bredle said, are the ones you will stick with.

Walking up the campus hill, climbing stairs or walking around town “are all terrific ways to clear burn a few calories, but also wake up your head and your body,” Bredle said.

To find the proper workout program and diet, Bredle said, people should decide whether they’re satisfied with their body shape and condition.

“We shouldn’t all be super lean,” Bredle said.

Whether someone has the energy and muscle to accomplish his or her daily activities should be the motivating question that determines a diet and workout program, Bredle said.

The guidelines are a new standard for national fitness, but with the other daily time commitments, they could challenge some people.

But Bredle said people should focus just on exercising.

“Just do it,” he said. “Don’t worry about guidelines.”

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Hour a day helps keep doctors away