Adults with disabilities: Follow the adult guidelines. Those who are able should get at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate aerobic activity a week, or 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. If this is not possible, these people should be as physically active as their abilities allow.
Children and adolescents with disabilities: When possible, these children should meet the guidelines for children and adolescents - or as much activity as their condition allows. Work with the child's health-care provider to identify the types and amounts of physical activity appropriate for them.
People with chronic medical conditions: Adults with chronic conditions get important health benefits from regular physical activity. They should do so with the guidance of a health-care provider.
Countless studies have made us all aware of the health benefits derived from regular physical activity and strength training. Still, 60 percent of American adults are not regularly active, and 25 percent of the adult population is not active at all. Even those who do enthusiastically engage in exercise do not maintain regular participation.
This challenges fitness professionals to study exercise adherence: why people begin fitness programs and then why they give them up. Clearly, we need to develop programming that is within a person's current physical capability and is also enjoyable. This varies from person to person. How and why people adopt and maintain healthier habits is as important to study as the health effects of these habits.
To adhere to these refined exercise recommendations and to make an ongoing health commitment, you should fulfill the time requirements with activity that suits your personality, energy level and makes you want to come back for more. People who do this find it much easier to "stick with a program" and reap the wonderful benefits from a healthy lifestyle.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for Cindy's fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her Web site www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 340-3527.