Sunday, August 23, 2015

Are You Getting Enough Exercise?

It’s no secret that being active is a key to a healthy life. Whether you go to the gym, swim, play sports, or go for a walk with your dog- it’s all physical activity. 

But how much exercise should you be getting? 

While everyone is different, there are guidelines for the average adult to shoot for. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is a leading authority in sports medicine as well as exercise science; ACSM came up with an evidence-based recommendation for apparently healthy adults for the quality and quantity of exercise. Follow these guidelines to help you stay happy and healthy!

In general, ACSM recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardiorespiratory exercise. This could range from walking, running, playing a sport, kayaking, etc. 2- 3 days a week should be dedicated to neuromotor exercises including balance, agility, and coordination. Resistance training (weight training) should be performed for each major muscle group at least 2 days a week. Make sure to switch between single joint and multi joint exercises. Flexibility is important too! Each stretch should be held for at least 60 seconds for the maximum benefit to be achieved. Static stretching (stretch and hold) is best done after the muscles are warmed up, so try to add stretches after your workout is done to cool down.  Make sure to not only target major muscles but add functional exercises as well!

So, what’s the best way to get all this exercise in? ACSM recommends 5 days a week if you are performing moderate intensity exercise for about 30 minutes a day. Getting into a routine and finding an exercise program you love is vital to maintaining this healthy lifestyle. There are plenty of ways to make it fun- try out group training, classes, or a specialty program. There are great ways to stay active and be social. Still not sure where to start? Try scheduling a session with a trainer.

Keep in mind that there is such a thing as OVERTRAINING! Too much exercise can be a hindrance, too. Make sure to drink plenty of water, eat a healthy meal, and listen to your body. Remember- Plan. Progress. Perform.

Blog post by Nikki Courtney.


Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise. (2011). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43(7), 1334-1359. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e318213fefb