Thinking about starting a new exercise programme?
Summer is fast approaching and with longer days, the sun shining and the sea warming up a few degrees, you can’t help but feel it is a good time to get outdoors and get back into a good exercise regime…and who can blame you??
But where to start?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that inactive adults should start with small amounts of physical activity and progressively increase the frequency, intensity and duration over time. They have set recommendations for physical activity based on healthy adults aged between 18-64 years of age. These recommendations may need to be adjusted for individuals based on their exercise capacity and specific medical and health needs, e.g high blood pressure. Pre and postpartum women and those with specific medical needs may need to consult their physician prior to undertaking an exercise regime.
WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health….
- Adults between 18-64 years of age should aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week
OR – do at least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity each week
OR – an equivalent of moderate to high-intensity physical activity
- Aerobic exercise should be of at least 10 minutes duration.
- To improve and gain further health benefits, healthy adults should increase their moderate to high-intensity level exercise to 300 minutes per week
- Strength-based activities should be incorporated for at least 2 sessions per week
Note: An exercise is considered to be of ‘moderate’ intensity if it is rated between 5 and 6/10 on an exertion scale (0 being ‘at rest’, and 10 being ‘my hardest possible effort level’)
‘Vigorous’ intensity works on a scale of between 7-8/10 intensity
To kick-start your programme, pick an activity you know you enjoy, and call upon your friends and family to join you – this will make you more accountable and it will be harder to pull out if you are finding the motivation side of things hard!
Mix it up, maintain the variety of what you do and change up the tempo – your body will appreciate trying new things and a balance between cardio, stretching, strengthening and core conditioning. And most of all – be safe and enjoy!
Weekly Exercise Goals
Experts recommend the following as a minimum level of weekly activity:
- Do moderately intense aerobic activity for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week
- Or, do vigorously intense aerobic activity for 20 minutes at least 3 days a week
- Additionally, do 8-10 strength training exercises, 10-15 repetitions of each, 2-3 times a week
Those who are at risk for falling should also perform balance training exercises
- An exercise is considered to be of “moderate intensity” if it is rated a 5 or 6 level of difficulty on a 0 (resting) to 10 (all-out effort) scale and produces a noticeable increase in heart rate and respiration rate
- An exercise is considered to be of “vigorous intensity” if it is rated at a 7 or 8 level of difficulty on a 0 to 10 scale and produces a significant increase in heart rate and respiration rate
- Flexibility is also an important component to fitness, and at least 10 minutes of flexibility activity is recommended on each day that aerobic or strength exercises are performed
If you are able to exceed these minimum exercise goals, do so for additional health benefits.
Starting an Exercise Program
- If you have been out of the habit of exercising for a while, gradually build up the intensity of your workout to meet the recommendations
- Before beginning a workout routine, have your health cleared for exercise by your physician
If you are over the age of 65, or if you have a chronic condition (i.e. arthritis), you may want to develop an activity plan with a healthcare professional that takes into account individualized risks and therapeutic needs
Top Tips for Achieving your Goals
- Choose activities you enjoy participating in. If you don’t like to run but enjoy swimming, choose swimming to be your primary form of aerobic exercise
- If you’re not sure how to perform a particular exercise, ask for help. It is important to use good technique when exercising to reduce the risk of injury
- Research shows that 3, 10-minute bouts of moderate intensity exercise throughout the day are just as effective as 30 minutes straight
- Combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity exercise can be used to meet the guidelines
- Set aside a specific time during the day that you will use for exercise
- Beginning an exercise program with a family member or friend can make things fun and help with accountability
At Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions our highly qualified physiotherapists specialise in the assessment, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal injuries.
Contact us today – 9252 5770