by Tom Rodrigues, Providence, RI
A barrier that many people face when it comes to meeting physical activity guidelines is finding time in their busy schedule to do so. This is a barrier which is much more prevalent in the corporate setting. When project deadlines and meetings are combined with the other demands of family, friends, and all of the other aspects of life which call for our attention, it can easily be justified that there simply is no more time in our week for exercise. One way to bust this myth is to learn how much exercise is recommended, and how we can meet these guidelines every week.
RECOMMENDED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week and resistance training activities on 2 or more
days a week that work all major muscle groups. If 150 minutes seems like too long of a time, then increase the intensity from moderate to vigorous and the time required each week for aerobic activity drops to 75 minutes. An easy equation to remember is that one minute of vigorous aerobic activity is equal to two minutes of moderate activity. For those looking to progress their fitness level, the numbers increase to 300
minutes of moderate activity, or 150 minutes of vigorous activity. Two days of full-body resistance training is recommended for all. These resistance training sessions should be challenging enough so that it’s hard for you to do another repetition without help for each exercise on each set. Aim for 8-12 repetitions, at least 1 set each. The more sets you complete, the more the benefits will increase.
TIPS ON MEETING THE GUIDELINES
Do not be intimidated by the amount of minutes required each week, as they don’t have to be all completed at once, and they can actually be completed at a minimum of 10 minutes at a time. Aerobic activity can also be any activity which keeps your heart rate in your target heart rate zone for a prolonged period of time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be completed indoors on a piece of cardio equipment; brisk walking, running, sports, dancing and a wide array of activities can be counted towards meeting these numbers. Varying the aerobic activity can counter exercise boredom, so don’t be hesitant to try something new. As for completing at least two days of resistance training, enlisting in the services of a fitness professional for individual sessions or workout plans, or utilizing group fitness classes such as circuit training, boot camp or yoga can make all the difference. Ultimately, the most vital step to take towards ensuring that we are staying active is to make exercise a priority. When this is done, we will learn to adapt regardless of perceived time barriers. If
you had read this article while walking briskly on the treadmill, you could have completed nearly 10 solid minutes!
Tom Rodrigues is an ACE-certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s in Community Health and Wellness. He trains predominantly out of Body Soul Inspired Personal Training in Providence, RI, but he is also willing to train clients at their homes, at local parks, or wherever a session can be completed safely and effectively.