New Years Resolution: Get Fit!

Blog

“Last year didn’t quite pan out but this year… this is my year!”

Sound familiar?

Getting more active, losing weight, building strength – they’re all common goals we set for ourselves.

Sticking to it and following through on a resolution is a whole other story – you can read our blog on habit formation here: http://equipphysiotherapy.com/blog/tips-for-starting-something-new-and-making-it-stick.

How much exercise is good for me?

What does the research say is the minimum amount of exercise to be healthy? How big a commitment should I be making each week?

It actually might not be as much as you think!

A study was published last year with a large sample size to determine what the minimum effective dose (how much) of exercise is required to reduce all-cause mortality (death) risk.

Why is this study important?

Well shockingly, 70% of adults failed to meet the current guidelines of physical activity! Current guidelines recommend: 2.5 hours per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity (think brisk walking), 1.25 hours per week vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise (think running) + 2 x sessions of muscle strengthening exercises per week.

This remain the current recommendation. So this study is important because it sought to determine what’s the bare minimum exercise required to maintain health.

What did the study find?

Adults should do at least 1 hour per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise (think brisk walk – run) and at least 1-2 muscle strengthening exercises per week involving all major muscles groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

The study found that further improvements were noted by doing more than this amount (remember this is the absolute minimum to improve health and reduce all-cause mortality). However, further benefits were not demonstrated with more than 3 hours aerobic exercise per week (doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do more than 3 hours per week it just didn’t reduce mortality risk any further).

What does all this mean for me if I’m not exercising now?

  1. Exercise is crucial for improving health
  2. The miminum effective amount is not actually that much!
  3. Start small: 60 mins of aerobic activity could be broken up into 4 x 15 minute sessions!

What does it mean for me if I’m already exercising regularly?

  1. How good! Keep doing your thing!
  2. Remember this study is looking at minimum effective dose – more is good for heaps of reasons
    1. Further health benefits
    2. Energy levels and focus
    3. Enjoyment
    4. Social
    5. Weight maintenance
    6. Performance goals and competition

3. Aim for the current exercise guidelines

  • 2.5 hours per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity (think brisk walking)
  • 1.25 hours per week vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise (think running)
  • 2 x sessions of muscle strengthening exercises per week.

Here’s a link to the study if you’re interested in reading it in full: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/56/21/1218

Winston Hills | Physiotherapy | Clinical Pilates

Tim Cathers

Book an online appointment with one of our team today!

Equip Physiotherapy is here to help reduce your pain & manage injuries! Booking through our online appointment form is the most convenient way to lock in the team member & time you want.