Do I Exercise Enough?
Some people have asked me whether or not walking every day counts as exercise. First of all, for those who walk every day, I commend you. The topic of walking reminds me of years ago, when I was challenged to wear a pedometer (a device that counts the number of steps taken) and walk at least 10,000 steps per day (equates to approx. 5 miles). At that time I was an intern at a hospital and by the end of the day I walked about 6,000 steps (about 3 miles). This left 2 miles by the time work was done, and I can be honest, most of the time I failed to finish the extra 2 miles because when I came home it was often dark and very late.
But there must be a better way to exercise, right? Is there exercise that is more efficient and less daunting? Yes!
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends Aerobic exercise, 30 minutes (at least) of moderate and/or vigorous activity on a minimum of five days per week and at least two resistance training sessions per week.
An example: Do both of these…
- Five days a week walk/bike/or swim. Do this at a pace that equates to enough intensity to feel that you are breathing harder but that you can still have enough breath to talk. If you can talk totally normally without effort, then it is not quite intense enough yet.
- Two days a week do resistance exercises for these muscle groups:
- Upper and lower back
- Hips and thighs
(Remember to breathe normally during these exercises, avoiding holding breath. Exhale lifting, and inhale when lowering).
MYTH: “Physical activity is not for everyone!”
TRUTH: Actually physical activity is beneficial for everyone, but one size doesn’t fit all. Certainly speak to your doctor about an exercise program that is tailored to you if you have special conditions.
An active Lifestyle decreases mortality and the risk of many chronic conditions: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and breast and colon cancers.
At Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine it is our responsibility to promote these beneficial activities in our patients. Help us spread the word!