The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (the national association for exercise science and personal training) established physical activity guidelines for adults. This science-based and academically driven organization influences Health Canada and their mandate, so now we, as Canadians, have some nationally determined exercise principles. But what do these mean? And what should we do with them?
Let’s break this down …
150 minutes means 30 minutes per day for 5 days each week. BUT, you can accumulate physical activity minutes in 10-minute increments. And it doesn’t have to be in traditional forms of exercise … you can accumulate minutes in activities like raking your lawn or dancing with your grandchildren.
Moderate-intensity means you should increase your breathing and even sweat a little. Doing things like taking a brisk walk or riding your bike are in this intensity zone (and also snowshoeing or walking up a long hill). When you do activities in this zone, you should aim to increase your duration.
Vigorous-intensity means you should be having difficulty ‘chatting’ if you were exercising with a friend, AND you should both be sweating. Activities like jogging or cross-country skiing are examples. When you perform more intense exercises, you don’t have to plan for a long time, because you’ve increased your heart rate more significantly.
Muscle and bone strengthening activities are resistance exercises like push-ups or pushing a lawnmower, working weight or bands, or shoveling your driveway. Also lifting and carrying things like groceries or suitcases are important but we don’t do these as frequently, so training these types of exercises a few times per week will really help maintain your strength for when you need it.
What else … more is better … more intensity, more minutes, more days per week … means MORE benefits for your health and well-being.
But … for those people who are inactive, doing more than you are currently doing will provide health benefits. Start with smaller amounts of physical activity and gradually increase your duration, the days per week, and the intensity. This will help you build your endurance, your strength, and your confidence.
An easy way to check off all these ideas is to join a class. We can help … and you’ll be in a small group and fully supported by a highly trained exercise specialist. Plus, it’s fun and social. Physical activity is better than any medication and has unbelievably positive side effects. Come and check out Active Health Solutions!