Benefits of Consistent Exercise
Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day is filled with chocolate, teddy bears and everything else cliche!
I want to expound on something your doctors have probably talked to you about: how YOU can benefit from consistent exercise.
You do not need to be a runner or a weightlifter to be healthy and exercise! Rather, you should find exercise that is fun and that fits with your lifestyle!
The benefits of consistent exercise are numerous and some consider it to be the most powerful “drug” out there for your overall health. Specifically, doctors and physical therapists are now considering exercise as one of the most powerful things they can prescribe for your overall health.
Some of the many benefits of exercise include:
↘ Risk of disease
↗ Cognitive function
Preventing low back pain
Beneficial exercise and physical activity can include chopping wood, gardening, walking, strength training, Crossfit, Pilates, yoga, running, jogging, Zumba, swimming, water aerobics, pickleball, among many more!
The important point here is to find something you enjoy and have it become part of your lifestyle. The old adage is true: you either move it, or lose it!
To frame it differently, think about how we brush our teeth twice daily for a couple minutes, and that’s just for our teeth!
Now, think about your whole bodies health and tell me 20 minutes a day for your whole body sounds like too much. That’s all it takes!
The two main types of exercise are cardiorespiratory exercise and strength training. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise per week.
If you can't do that much right away, start with what you can and work your way up! MORE is better than SOME, but SOME is better than NONE!
The ACSM recommends that a strength training program should be performed a minimum of two non-consecutive days each week, with one set of 8 to 12 repetitions for healthy adults or 10 to 15 repetitions (at a lighter weight) for older and frail individuals. 8 to 10 exercises should be performed that target the major muscle groups. Examples of typical resistance exercises that can be performed using free-weights, machines, or body-weight for the major muscle groups. This can be accomplished with the above listed fun activities!
In closing, exercise is awesome for overall health and you should start with a type of exercise you enjoy! As always, a physical therapist's role in healthcare is to encourage and optimize movement of all types so if you have questions or concerns, call or email us!
By: Mike van Der Laan PT, DPT
Steve Bartz, PT