Are you Getting Enough Exercise?
On your journey to optimal health, you’ve got to exercise. Our bodies are meant to move.
Over the past few decades, ongoing research has clearly and overwhelmingly demonstrated the important relationship between physical activity and wellness. Some of the benefits identified by this research are improved muscular strength, flexibility and agility, increased bone density, improved lipid profiles, enhanced immune function, improved insulin levels, maintenance of healthy weight, stress management, and psychological well-being (Walsh, 2011).
Exercise Recommendations for Adults
Is working out 30 minutes a day enough?
According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the minimal recommendations for adults include:
- Two (2) hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes total) weekly (or 30 minutes five days of the week) of moderate aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) every week of vigorous aerobic activity along with
- Two (2) or more days per week of muscle-strengthening activities that work all of the major muscle groups (legs, arms, back, hips, abdomen, chest, and shoulders).
Breaking this recommended dosage of exercise (150 minutes total) into small achievable sessions like 3 x 10-minutes per day (30 minutes total), 5 days a week is a great way to fit it into your life. It doesn’t have to be done all at once. Starting with shorter duration may make it easier to fit into your life, especially, if you’re just getting started. For even greater health benefits increasing your intensity and duration is recommended.
Four Main Types of Exercise:
In addition to aerobic activity and strength training try to include something from the four main types of exercise:
- cardiovascular (aerobic exercise)
- strength training
- flexibility training
- neuromotor activities
Neuromotor activities promote balance, coordination, gait, agility, and proprioceptive training. The American College of Sports Medicine identified tai chi, yoga, and qi gong as types of physical activity that combine neuromotor, strength, and flexibility training.
What are the health benefits of exercise?
Benefits of Aerobic exercise
- Cardiorespiratory fitness
- Improves hypertension
- Improves glucose tolerance
- Decreases insulin resistance
- Improves dyslipidemia
- Decreases inflammatory markers
- Decreases visceral abdominal fat
- Decreases abdominal and total body fat
- Promotes weight reduction
- Improves psychological well being
Benefits of Strength Training
- Increase strength of muscles, tendons and ligaments
- Reduce body fat and increase lean body mass
- Decrease glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity
- Decrease blood pressure in patient with prehypertension or stage one hypertension
- Prevent and treat metabolic syndrome
- Increase bone mass and prevent, slow progression or reverse, osteoporosis
- Reduce pain and disability of people with osteoarthritis
- Improves fatigue
Benefits of Flexibility Training
- Increase joint flexibility
- Increase joint range of motion
- Increase balance and stability
Benefits of Neuromotor Exercises
- Improves balance, coordination, gait, agility and proprioceptive training
In summary, research continues to demonstrate the health-related benefits of physical activity. In conjunction with adequate rest, we need to be active. Regular physical activity helps improve our overall health and fitness and reduces our risks for many chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, various cancers and neurodegenerative diseases (Jeon, 2007, Oguma, 2004).
If you’d like help planning the next leg of your wellness journey, give me a call or send me an email. I’ll work with you to clarify your vision and plan for a successful outcome. Along the way, I’ll be there to encourage your efforts, to celebrate your progress, and to troubleshoot your breakdowns. I can even offer additional information to enrich your sense of adventure and self-discovery. Read testimonials from satisfied clients.
Be well and enjoy!
Disclaimer: The information provided through this Website is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program.
- Jeon CY, Lokken RP, Hu FB, van Dam RM. Physical activity of moderate intensity and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. Diabetes Care. 2007;30(3):744-752. doi:10.2337/dc06-1842
- Oguma Y, Shinoda-Tagawa T. Physical activity decreases cardiovascular disease risk in women: review and meta-analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2004;26(5):407-418. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2004.02.007
- Walsh, R. (2011). Lifestyle and mental health. American Psychologist, 66(7), 579–592. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021769