How much exercise is actually enough? 08/23/2011 Too busy to work out? Think again. 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise is all it takes to reap the benefits of exercise, according to a new report by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
That’s just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Even better news is that the 150 minutes can be met in multiple sessions such as 10 minutes, three times a day.
“The ACSM’s guidelines make exercise a little less overwhelming, especially for a person who leads a sedentary lifestyle. If you can exercise 10 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes during your lunch hour, the impact is cumulative,” says Carol Teteak, fitness coordinator and personal trainer at Edward Health & Fitness Center at Seven Bridges.
Teteak points out that 150 minutes of physical activity should be considered a baseline for someone who is new to exercise or has led a sedentary lifestyle.
“If you’re already active and you want to lose weight or improve your performance, you’ll need to exercise for a longer amount of time at a more intense level. A person who is more active may need intervals of walking and running whereas a slow walk is a good place to start for a sedentary person,” she says.
Released earlier this year, the ACSM guidelines also recommend that:
People unable to meet the minimum weekly amount can still benefit from some cardio activity (in other words, it’s better to get some exercise than none at all)
Adults should train each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercise and resistance equipment
Adults should do flexibility, balance, and agility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion
The report stresses that sedentary behavior – sitting for long periods of time – is a health risk. Meeting the guidelines for physical activity does not make up for a sedentary lifestyle, according to the ACSM.
Regular physical activity controls weight; reduces chances for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome; lowers blood pressure; reduces risks for certain cancers; and improves moods. It also has positive benefits for body image and increases a person’s chances for living longer.
To help members with their physical activity goals, Edward Health & Fitness Centers offers group classes and personal training. Seven Bridges has two new group classes:
Work for Results – working with a personal trainer and registered dietician, participants will set fitness goals and learn about proper nutrition. The class will focus on cardiovascular, flexibility, strength training, and balance exercises as well as nutrition information. Classes will be offered throughout the week at different times.
Women &Weights – a group class for women who may be confused or intimated by weight training. Learn proper form and function for all types of strength training.
Besides your workout at Edward, there are other easy ways to get your 30 minutes in each day such as:
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Park your car further away from your office or the store
Walk around the block during your lunch hour
Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to exercise
Learn a new sport with your kids
Go for a bike ride with your kids
Listen to your favorite music to get moving
Set a time to walk or exercise with a friend for accountability
Remember, it’s never too late to get started.
“It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you exercised last. Your age and your weight do not matter. If you can move, you can do this,” says Teteak.
For more information about Work for Results, please email Carol Teteak, fitness coordinator and personal trainer at EHFC, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 646-7920.