How Much Should You Be Exercising?
This month’s newsletter topic came to us because we realize that the above question is one that many people ask. You have heard us say a million times that you need to do your cardio in addition to weight training, but do you really know the whys behind what we are recommending? Read on to learn how much exercise you really should be doing to achieve your goals.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. Those who are unfit may improve cardiorespiratory fitness with two times a week. For optimal training, an individual would need to exercise three to five days a week. Of course, the number of exercise sessions per week will vary depending on a person’s goals, as well as limitations. Generally speaking, at least three days a week of exercise is recommended for everyone. For those who exercise at lower intensities, exercising more than three days a week may be necessary to achieve weight and fitness goals.
Now that you know how many days to exercise, the next question is what constitutes exercise? The ACSM defines exercise as planned, structured, and repetitive bodily movement done to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness.
For overall best results in becoming a healthier you, the three most important components of physical fitness are cardiovascular exercise, resistance exercise and flexibility exercise.
Definition: This type of exercise includes 20-60 minutes of continuous (or intermittent) aerobic activity.
Purpose: to improve cardiorespiratory fitness. This type of exercise specifically strengthens the heart and lungs.
Duration: The duration will depend on the intensity of the activity. For example, moderate-intensity activity should be conducted over a longer period of time (30 minutes or more). Those training at high-intensity levels should train for at least 20 minutes. Recent research has shown that bouts of 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a day is comparable to 30 minutes of sustained cardiovascular exercise at one time. The key is that during those 10-minute exercise sessions, the intensity must be the same as it would be during the 30 minutes for you to achieve the same results.
Definition: Muscular strength and muscular endurance are developed by the overload principle. This principle states that for a tissue or organ to improve its function, it must be exposed to a load to which is it not normally accustomed.
Purpose: In addition to the cardiovascular training, resistance training of moderate intensity should be an integral part of your overall fitness regimen. Resistance training develops and maintains muscular strength and muscular mass, as well as increasing bone mass and strengthening connective tissue.
Duration: Perform resistance exercises at least two times a week, preferably three, leaving a day in-between workouts. Perform a minimum of 8-10 separate exercises that train the major muscle groups (arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, back, hips and legs). Allow enough time to perform the exercises in at least one set, possibly two or more, depending on your strength and fitness goals. A weight training session of 60 minutes is sufficient enough to achieve your muscular fitness goals.
Definition: A general stretching routine should include exercises that stretch the major muscle and/or tendon groups. Of the many different stretching techniques, the most commonly recommended method is static stretching. Static stretching involves slowly stretching a muscle to the point of mild discomfort and then holding that position for an extended period of time (10-30 seconds).
Purpose: to maintain an adequate range of motion in all joints. Muscular flexibility is particularly important in the lower back and posterior thigh regions (i.e., hamstrings) because of the high correlation the lack of flexibility in these areas has with chronic lower back pain.
Duration: Flexibility exercises should be performed at least two to three days a week, preferably all days for the best benefit. For static stretching (the most recommended), hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.
Definition: The ACSM defines Physical Activity as bodily movement that is produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle and that substantially increases energy expenditure.
Purpose: to keep your body healthy, active, and able to perform the activities of daily living (ADLs) that your life demands and/or desires.
Duration: While the above recommendations are specifically for exercise, your Fitness Coaches at BodyBasics recommend that you make it a point to do something physically active everyday!
Below is the Physical Activity Pyramid that visually explains exercise and physical activity recommendations. Similar to the Food Guide Pyramid, the sections that are closer to the bottom of the pyramid are the activities that should be done more frequently. Conversely, the sections closer to the top display the activities that should be done sparingly. Study the pyramid and compare it to the activity in your life currently.
Stepping Out / Stepping In Events
Stepping Out: Race for the Cure 2007![gallery ids="2455,2456,2457,2458"]
Thank you to all of our runners, walkers, and donators who participated in the 10th annual Race for the Cure on April 15th. This was the 3rd year BodyBasics has had a team and we appreciate all of your participation! We had 26 team members and raised a total of $645 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Way to go BodyBasics Crew!
We also send out a big applause to our competitive runners: Eve Shapiro, Keri Weinhold and Abby Floyd. Their results are posted in the studio. We are very proud of all of you!
Stepping In: Abby’s Monthly Nutrition Group
The Nutrition Group meets every third Tuesday of the month from 5:30-6:00pm. For those of you that have the folders Abby made for you, be sure to bring those with you. She will provide everyone with notes on the topic she discusses as well as readings to insert into the folder. If you have not attended a group yet, Abby has the folders for you.
The group is free of cost and you will walk away with a wealth of knowledge.
Nutritional information from your Nutrition Coach, Abby Floyd, RD
Many times when we set health and fitness goals they tend to be along the lines of decreasing body fat, losing weight and feeling better in general. A first step for most people is a regular exercise program and not far behind comes the diet. We’ve learned more about exercise from the above article; now let’s tackle eating for performance while still progressing towards our goals.
Looking at food as fuel for the body is important. We can not expect our bodies to perform well at high levels of exercise if inadequate fuel is taken in. When adding exercise to your life, timing of meals and snacks becomes even more essential. Eating before exercise will enable your body to burn calories and fat more effectively and avoid dipping into muscle reserves. Pre-workout meals/snacks should be eaten within 2 hours of exercise and contain complex carbohydrates. I would recommend whole grains such as: oatmeal, whole grain cereal, whole wheat bread (toast), whole wheat English muffins or bagels, whole grain crackers, brown rice, whole wheat pasta. Fruit is also a healthy source of carbohydrate. The body needs carbohydrates as is main source of energy and without them we will perform poorly and feel fatigued. Often I am asked, Won’t carbohydrates make me gain weight? The answer is no! Large portions, irregular eating, and lack of exercise are what most contribute to weight gain.
Post workout meals/snacks are equally important. The hour or so after exercise is when metabolism continues to be high and muscles need refueling. A balanced meal/snack will give your body the nutrients it needs while keeping you satisfied longer. A meal including lean protein, carbohydrate, and possibly good fats is ideal after a hard workout. This could mean something as simple as a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread or as involved as a dinner of grilled or poached salmon, brown rice and veggies (see the Healthy Recipe section).
How do you fuel your body for exercise and still lose weight? By decreasing portion size at single meals and spreading your calories throughout the day. With appropriate timing of meals and quality choices you can feel and look your best!
Healthy Recipe – Poached Salmon with Lemon Mint Tzatziki
Enjoy this healthy salmon after a great workout! Eat it with some brown rice and steamed broccoli and you will have a wonderfully balanced meal!
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
2 lemons, unpeeled, sliced
1 (2 pound) salmon fillet with skin
1 scallion, top only, thinly sliced
1 cup Lemon Mint Tzatziki, recipe follows
Put the wine, water, bay leaves, parsley and of the sliced lemons into a large deep skillet and bring to a simmer.
Add the salmon, skin side down. Add more water, if necessary, to cover the salmon. Cover the skillet and simmer over a low heat until the fish is just cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Transfer the fish to a plate, cover it and chill it completely in the refrigerator, about 3 hours.
To serve, peel the skin from the fillet and scrape away any brown flesh. Put the fish on a serving plate, garnish with scallion and the remaining lemon slices. Serve with Lemon Mint Tzatziki.
Lemon Mint Tzatziki:
1 cup non-fat yogurt
1 English cucumber
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
Salt and pepper
Line a strainer with paper towel and put the strainer over a bowl. Put the yogurt in the strainer and place it in the refrigerator to drain and thicken for 3 hours.
Seed and coarsely grate the cucumber. Drain it well. In a medium bowl, stir together the thickened yogurt and olive oil. Stir in the cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, zest and mint. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
Yield: 1 cup
Nutritional Analysis per Serving Calories 307
Total Fat 17 grams Saturated Fat 3 grams
Protein 32 grams Carbohydrates 4 grams
Annalise Sexton – May
Annalise has been chosen for this award because of her consistency, her good attitude and her hard work. These attributes have helped her to reach goals that have seemed unattainable in the past. In her time here, Annalise has greatly increased her strength and agility. She is especially strong in her legs and has conquered the obstacle of a specific Seated Row bench! Keep up the hard work Annalise! We are all very proud of you and can’t wait to see what new goals you will achieve!
Bryon, Chris, Jenny, Cecile, Kathleen and Abby
Molly Hoffman – June
What do you get when you combine boundless energy with a never say never attitude towards all things fitness? We think the answer is this month’s Client of the Month. Molly Hoffman started working with Coach Chris at BodyBasics August 06. She started due to some challenges with pain and a desire to create a more balanced exercise approach. To date her once nagging pain is now eliminated and she has found great success in improving her overall strength and stamina. Just ask her about Metabolic Thursdays! Way to go Molly. Your coaches are proud.
Chris, Jenny, Cecile, Bryon, Kathleen, and Abby
Did you read the above article about Exercise? If so, answer the following question:
How much physical activity does the CDC and the ACSM recommend?
Here is the answer to the fitness question posted in the previous newsletter:
True or False:
To successfully eliminate body fat, I need to take in as little calories as possible?
Answer: False. Eating too little may cause your weight elimination to slow significantly.
To empower people to realize their innate abilities by providing an environment that nurtures, educates, and inspires.
Keep Up the Great Work!
We are very proud of all of you!
Chris, Cecile, Jenny, Bryon, Abby and Kathleen