We all know that exercising is important for our health, but in this article I am going to dive into the specifics of what exactly it can do for you and how you can plan for success.
As we age it gets more and more difficult to find time for daily physical activity. But at the same time it becomes increasingly more important for our health. In adults, higher levels of physical activity can improve:
- Risk of all-cause mortality
- Risk of cardiovascular disease mortality
- Incident hypertension
- Incident site-specific cancers (bladder, breast, colon, gastric and renal cancers, to name a few)
- Incident type-2 diabetes
- Prevention of falls
- Mental Health (reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression)
- Cognitive Health
With such a wide range of benefits, why is it so hard to convince people to exercise? Part of the reason can be the delayed gratification, You will not see any changes after exercising just a few times. Not seeing an immediate reward can make it harder to find enjoyment in exercising. One thing you can do for this is to take a few minutes after you have exercised and focus on how it made you feel. You may feel exhausted but you will probably find you are less stressed, more relaxed, and you feel good about doing something positive for your body.
Feeling good about exercising is the first step, the second step is to stay consistent with your exercise to see noticeable changes in your health and body. The most important factor in staying consistent is planning your exercise ahead of time. But before you can do that, you need to know how much exercise you should be doing per week.
Adults aged 18-64 years
- Should do at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity;
- Or at least 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
- Should also do muscle-strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week
- Increasing physical activity beyond recommended time can provide additional health benefits
That equates to roughly 20 to 40 minutes per day of moderate-intensity exercise. Moderate-intensity exercise can be considered any aerobic activity that makes you work hard enough to break a sweat, this can include; brisk walking, swimming, biking, and gardening. Vigorous-intensity exercise can include; Hiking, Skiing/Snowboarding, Jogging, Shovelling, and most sports.
Now that you know how much exercise you should be aiming for, it is time to make a plan. Having your exercise scheduled will increase your likelihood of staying consistent to your plan. Although you should not necessarily feel bad for missing exercise occasionally. Start by trying to plan out your exercise routine a week in advance.
It can seem like an impossible task to make more time for exercise, but failing to plan is planning to fail. Set yourself a realistic goal and plan accordingly.
Contributions by Cameron, personal trainer and adult fitness coach.
I hope this article had valuable information to help you on your exercise journey. If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing an exercise program, feel free to email me at WillowStrongFitness@gmail.com or check out my website.