It’s Time for Resolutions
Are you looking to make a lasting change in the new year, but spending hours and hours each day in the gym sounds daunting and miserable? Needing to spend every waking moment in the gym is simply a myth.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Exercise recommendations can be met through:
- 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week), or
- 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
The ACSM suggests the particular exercise programs summarized in Appendix A.
So rather than feeling like you need to spend all of your time in the gym, work towards making small sustainable changes over time.
An example 3 day a week plan spending only an hour each day and working towards the aforementioned recommendations may look something like this:
- Monday: 25 minutes of vigorous intensity cardio followed by 25 minutes of total body weight training and 10 minutes of stretching
- Wednesday: 45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercise along with 15 minutes of bodyweight exercises and stretches
- Friday: 40 minutes of total body weight training followed by 20 minutes of vigorous intensity cardio exercise
If you are looking for something a little more specific, consider sitting down with one of our personal trainers and working on a plan tailored to your goals!
Personal Trainer Rachel Rajkowski recommends making an “appointment with yourself” to help keep you accountable. Using your day planner or preferred app on your phone, just pencil yourself in like you would any other appointment. This will help you be accountable to yourself and help you make time to get your workout in! Regular exercise must be a part of your lifestyle.
Group Fitness classes can also help with motivation and accountability. With an instructor guiding and encouraging you through each part of the workout, and a community of like-minded people around you working out by your side, you will look forward to working out! More importantly, the group will help your through those days that you really don’t feel like exercising.
ACSM’s Recommended Exercise Programs
ACSM’s overall recommendation is for most adults to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. “The scientific evidence we reviewed is indisputable,” said Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., FAHA, FACSM, chair of the writing committee. “When it comes to exercise, the benefits far outweigh the risks. A program of regular exercise – beyond activities of daily living – is essential for most adults.”
The basic recommendations – categorized by cardiorespiratory exercise, resistance exercise, flexibility exercise and neuromotor exercise – are as follows:
- Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
- One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
- Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.
- People unable to meet these minimums can still benefit from some activity.
- Adults should train each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment.
- Very light or light intensity is best for older persons or previously sedentary adults starting exercise.
- Two to four sets of each exercise will help adults improve strength and power.
- For each exercise, 8-12 repetitions improve strength and power, 10-15 repetitions improve strength in middle-age and older persons starting exercise, and 15-20 repetitions improve muscular endurance.
- Adults should wait at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.
- Adults should do flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion.
- Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds to the point of tightness or slight discomfort.
- Repeat each stretch two to four times, accumulating 60 seconds per stretch.
- Static, dynamic, ballistic and PNF stretches are all effective.
- Flexibility exercise is most effective when the muscle is warm. Try light aerobic activity or a hot bath to warm the muscles before stretching.
- Neuromotor exercise (sometimes called “functional fitness training”) is recommended for two or three days per week.
- Exercises should involve motor skills (balance, agility, coordination and gait), proprioceptive exercise training and multifaceted activities (tai ji and yoga) to improve physical function and prevent falls in older adults.
- 20-30 minutes per day is appropriate for neuromotor exercise.