Today's Fit Facts Tips Fitness Excercise Information From ACE
Tips #1: Everything In Moderation
When it comes to exercise we each determine what we can or cannot
do, and how hard we push ourselves. Some follow the all-or-nothing
principle, believing that if exercise for is good for you it has to be
hard, even painful. Then along came last year's Surgeon General's
Report on Physical Activity, detailing the benefits of moderate
physical activity. It was then that people began questioning exactly
what "moderate activity" means.
Tips #2: You Don't Have to Put Out a Lot to Gain a Lot
This perceived exertion scale shows you how little exertion is
required to benefit from regular physical activity. It is used by
exercisers to rate their exertion during any type of fitness program.
Exercise rated in the 11 to 15 range is enough to improve
cardiovascular condition. But even less than that - exertion rated
in the 8 to 12 range, which is very light to moderate activity - can
bring many health benefits.
Tips #3: Limitless Options
There are few limitations on what types of activities you can do at
a moderate intensity. The Surgeon General's Report includes a
recommendation that everyone accumulate 30 minutes or more of
physical activity on most or all days of the week. Brisk walking is
the most popular choice since it can easily be incorporated into a
busy day, has low injury rates, doesn't require special skills or
equipment, and can be done by anyone at any age.
But don't forget
the things you do everyday. Gardening provides a multitude of
opportunities for improving muscle strength, as does waxing the car
or vacuuming the carpet.
One of the appealing aspects of this type
of exercise program is that the amount of exercise you need to
accumulate can be adapted according to the length of time, intensity
or frequency with which you exercise. To see an example of how
activities measure up to one another in relation to time and
intensity, see the box to the left.
Tips #4: The Road Ahead
Now that you know physical activity need not be overly strenuous to
be beneficial, it's time to get started. To insure that you're able
to stick with exercise, choose activities you enjoy that can easily
become part of your routine.
Begin slowly, giving the body time to
adjust, and work up to the desired amount and intensity. If you have
any chronic health problems, or are at risk for any (e.g., heart
disease, diabetes, obesity), consult with your physician before
starting any activity.