Test your Fitness IQ

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1   What type of rhythmic exercise uses large muscle groups continuously?


Explanation:
Aerobic exercise goes by a few other names, including cardiovascular exercise, cardio, and cardiorespiratory exercise. The word aerobic means "with oxygen". Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, running, dancing, skiing, rollerblading, cycling, swimming, aerobics classes (both land and water), rowing, stair climbing, and more, can strengthen your lungs and heart, improving your health and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Read The Keys to Aerobic Exercise to learn more.

1   There are 5 components of fitness. Which of the following isn't one of them?


Explanation:
These five components of fitness should be included in your own fitness program. To be considered fit, you need to meet certain standards in each of these five areas, which include 1- body composition (your weight, fat mass, lean muscle mass, and fat distribution), 2- aerobic fitness (ability to sustain moderate-intensity activity for extended periods of time), 3- flexibility (the range of motion of several joints), 4- muscular strength (maximum amount of force you can perform with a single contraction), and 5- muscular endurance (ability to repeat high-intensity muscle contractions). While warm-ups aren't part of the 5 components of fitness, they should be part of your workouts. You should warm-up before aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercises. To learn more about all five components of fitness, check out Fitness Resource Center.

1   How many aerobic (cardio) exercise sessions should you aim for each week?


Explanation:
When it comes to cardio, aim for a minimum of 3 days per week with no more than 2 days between sessions. Gradually work your way up to 5 or 6 days per week. Frequency is especially important when it comes to weight loss. The more you exercise, the more calories you will burn. But don't forget the importance of rest and recovery. Give yourself at least 1 to 2 days off each week. SparkPeople's Reference Guide to Aerobic Exercise explains everything you need to know about cardio.

1   True or False: Your workouts don't have to be continuous. You can break them up throughout the day into smaller segments (at least 10 minutes each) and achieve the same benefits.


Explanation:
Forget the "all or nothing" mentality when it comes to exercise. Fitness does not live or die by 60-minute workouts; there is middle ground. Short spurts of exercise, when they accumulate, have been shown to share similar benefits of longer workouts. Learn more about how Small Bits of Fitness Add Up.

1   How much water should you drink during a workout?


Explanation:
During one hour of vigorous exercise, the average person loses one quart (32 ounces) of water through sweat! However, drinking water before and after exercise is just as important. Read more about Drinking Water During Workouts.

1   Which of the following is an appropriate warm up?


Explanation:
Contrary to popular belief, stretching is not the same thing as warning up. A warm up can be a lower intensity version of the workout you are about to do, or it can be a completely different exercise. As long as it increases your heart and breathing rates, involves the muscles you are about to use, and lasts for 5-10 minutes it is considered a proper warm up. So why is a warm up so important? Read Common Fitness Blunders to find out.

1   When is the best time to stretch?


Explanation:
Always warm up before doing any stretching exercises. Stretching a cold muscle increases the risk of pulls or tears. Think of your muscles like you would a rubber band. Itís easy to stretch a warm rubber band, but if you try to stretch a cold one, you risk cracking or breaking it. Donít treat your muscles like a cold rubber band! If you want to improve your flexibility but aren't sure where to start, check out our Reference Guide to Stretching.

1   What might happen if you don't properly cool down after exercise?


Explanation:
The purpose of the cool down is to slowly decrease the heart rate and the overall metabolism previously elevated during exercise. When exercise ends abruptly, your blood pressure drops and can cause dizziness or fainting. A proper cool-down prevents the sudden pooling of blood (collection of blood in one place) and re-circulates the blood back to the heart, skeletal muscles and brain. This 10-15 minute phase of your workout helps prevent muscle stiffness or soreness. Learn how to Cool Down properly.

1   How high should you elevate your heart rate during an aerobic (cardio) workout?


Explanation:
The recommended heart rate range for aerobic exercise is 60-85% of your maximum heart rate. This range is called the target heart rate (THR) zone. This range is ideal for the general health benefits that come with exercise, and for weight loss. You can use your THR, the "Talk Test" or Perceived Exertion to make sure you're working out in a good intensity level (not too easy, not too hard). For more information on measuring your exercising intensity using the methods above, read our Reference Guide to Exercise Intensity.

1   True or False: You should do cardio for at least 20 minutes per day.


Explanation:
Experts recommend that most people do cardio for a minimum of 20 minutes (for simple general health benefits) and up to about 60 minutes most days of the week. Exercise duration should be built up slowly over time. These 20 minutes do not include a warm up and cool down, which you should perform at every exercise session. For example, you should warm up for about 5 minutes, then do 20 minutes in your target zone, and finish by cooling down for another 5 minutes. Our Reference Guide to Aerobic Exercise will help you design your own cardio program.

1   Inactive people who do not strength train will lose ____ of muscle per year, starting after age 20.


Explanation:
Without consistent strength training, muscle size and strength decline with age. An inactive person loses 1/2 pound of muscle per year after age 20. After age 60, this rate of loss doubles. But, muscle loss is not inevitable. With regular strength training, muscle mass can be preserved throughout the lifespan, and the muscle lost can be rebuilt. Learn Why Strength Training is a Must for Everyone.

1   How often should you strength train with each major muscle group?


Explanation:
Aim to train each muscle group at least two times per week, and up to three if you have the time or are more advanced. One day per week may help you maintain your current level of strength, but it will not be enough to build muscle. It is important to rest 1-2 days in between working out the same muscle(s). Rest days give the muscles time to repair themselves from small tears that occur during strength training, and this is how you get stronger. Check out SparkPeople's Reference Guide to Strength Training for more.

1   Which of the following factors affect your flexibility level?


Explanation:
All of these factors affect your ability to stretch: Muscle connective tissues have a natural tendency to shorten with aging, resulting in tighter muscles. Several studies have shown that females tend to be more flexible than males. Active people tend to be more flexible than inactive people. An increase in muscle temperature results in a decrease of muscular resistance, which enhances your ability to stretch. Learn more from our Reference Guide to Stretching.

1   True or False: As long as you're working hard, you don't need to change your workout routine.


Explanation:
Incorporate variation into each workout. Variety is critical because your muscles become very efficient at the exercises they are accustomed to doing. Switching things up or doing something radically different during each workout session is more challenging to your muscles. This concept should be applied to both aerobic exercise and strength training.

An individual who always does the same exercises will usually plateau sooner than someone who continually makes changes. If you donít feel comfortable doing a different workout each time you hit the gym, try to change your exercise routine at least every 6-8 weeks. For more information, check out Plateau Busters: Add Variety to Your Workouts.

1   You should get clearance from your doctor to begin an exercise program if you:


Explanation:
A document called a PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) can help you determine if you need a medical evaluation before starting an exercise program. You can get one here.


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Even if you've never exercised, you can still benefit from applying the concepts you've learned from this quiz to your lifestyle. To learn more about fitness, check out these articles.


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Member Comments On This Quiz

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KATHYBBJ

9/29/2014 3:49:49 AM

KATHYBBJ's SparkPage
I'm losing weight vvveerrrry slowly, just like I gained it. I would like a boost, just to keep up my enthusiasm.

REDHEAD101359

9/16/2014 6:08:11 AM

7/15 hmmmmmm, obviously something needs to change

CEHGF71

9/9/2014 8:10:22 PM

10/15

SOULARDIAN

7/29/2014 11:08:12 PM

10/15 not great but on my way.

SNAPPER53

7/29/2014 2:49:16 PM

SNAPPER53's SparkPage
13/15

BRICKER0

7/29/2014 2:49:03 PM

BRICKER0's SparkPage
Not such a good score...but...now I know!!

FUNZ81

7/29/2014 1:15:25 PM

FUNZ81's SparkPage
14/15 Now to put that knowledge into practice!?!

BELDAME

7/29/2014 12:51:19 PM

BELDAME's SparkPage
I disagree with the "talk test" for cardio. Take a look around the gym: who's in better shape, the people who are concentrating, working hard and sweating? Or the workout buddies who are chatting away on the treadmills?

I maintain that if you are carrying on a conversation, you're just not working hard enough.

TIMEHASCOME56

7/29/2014 12:38:32 PM

TIMEHASCOME56's SparkPage
12 of 15 correct

RTGRAFF

7/29/2014 12:33:12 PM

RTGRAFF's SparkPage
11/15

HILLSLUG98239

7/29/2014 11:54:30 AM

HILLSLUG98239's SparkPage
I'm calling BS on the ones I missed.

First, the answer to one question indicated that a person should do cardiovascular exercise 5-6 days a week, because it's important to take rest days. But the answer to "You should get 20 minutes of exercise everyday" was true. "Everyday" means no rest days.

Second, I've been told by several trainers that to improve performance, you should spend 80% of your cardio in zones 1 & 2. That's up to 70%, not 85%. Your endurance will improve if you follow the 60-85% advice, but if you're training for an event, come race day you won't have the "punch" that comes with interval training.

SPARKFRAN514

7/29/2014 11:17:10 AM

SPARKFRAN514's SparkPage
9/15

UWGRAD07

7/29/2014 10:45:18 AM

10/15 well on my way to improving!

BERRYNINJA

7/29/2014 9:29:01 AM

BERRYNINJA's SparkPage
15/15 surprised! I seem to know this fairly intuitively. Yay!

ACHIEVECHI

7/29/2014 7:13:51 AM

ACHIEVECHI's SparkPage
13/15 - I just need to practice what I know a little more.

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