What is cardio, strength training, what is flexibility training?
Our caveman ancestors were built to move. To run, to lift heavy things and to stretch their bodies much like cats and dogs do. We are beings of movement…but lately we are more inclined to be couch potatoes. Today we will go over reasons why exercise is extremely beneficial for you! We’ll also talk about what sedentary behaviors are and why they are so bad for you. Also, make sure you watch till the end to hear this weeks challenge! Prepare to be mind blown! That’s right.. because what I am about to tell you will make you want to get your inner CAVEMAN or CAVE-LADY moving.
First things first: Safety. Before you start any crazy exercise routines make sure that you have a good bill of health from your doctor. So give your doctor a call and get yourself checked out before you start training for a triathlon.
Okay, so did you know that there are 3 different types of exercise? Right? Who knew! I always thought exercise was exercise too! Weight lifting, sports, running, walking, yoga, pilates etc etc.. These are ALL exercise, but if you notice there are some features of each that others may not have.
So what are these different types of exercise exactly? The American College of Sports Medicine has the breakdown:
1) Cardiorespiratory Exercise
2) Resistance Exercise (weight training)
3) Flexibility and Neuromotor Exercise
You should be participating in ALL THREE types of exercises. Sounds crazy complicated and like a lot of work.… may even sound impossible to fit into your busy schedules, but don’t worry! We’re here to start small and find time where there isn’t any! HA! Each of these categories has their own benefits and I think its super important that you guys know them. But how much of exercise should you actually do? Give thanks to the American Heart Association for giving us this info:
Adults should engage in at least ≥ 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week. For a total of 150minutes a week! This means, go for a fast walk, dance a little, go hiking, garden a bit, or ride around in your bike.
Or, you could do ≥ 25 minutes of vigorous exercise 3 days a week.
For a total of 75 minutes a week! This means, dance salsa or merengue…. Are you kidding this is the most insane workout ever, its no wonder Zumba gets you’re all sweaty or OUT OF BREATH! That’s the KEY here. If you can chat with a friend or gossip, it’s not vigorous enough.. come on you got this… lets pick up the pace!
Adolescents should aim for 60 minutes every single day.
If you’re new to any of this, don’t worry, I’ll be making a few posts about these in the future. One you know what these are, making the time for exercise… well… that’s a whole different story let me tell you. Days can get super busy, and it happens to everyone! There is no shame in that. Luckily you’re about to get a few tips on what to do so you can start squeezing in some exercise despite your nutty schedule.
For example: You don’t have to do it all at once! You can also split it up into 3 different sets of 10-20 minutes if that’s all you can squeeze in! The idea is to SQUEEZE in the daily or weekly recommended amount!
Okay, now lets get into the benefits of engaging in exercise in general.
There are some pretty awesome benefits to exercise, running, swimming, cycling, stair climbing, weight training, pilates, yoga and EVEN just walking for 30 minutes every day improves so many areas of your life. For one, it can protect you from developing diabetes. If you do have diabetes, it can make your body more sensitive to insulin. It helps keep a healthy weight, which is awesome both for your physical health and your mental health! It also reduces some cancers, and risk of falls. It even makes your bones stronger so guess what? If you do fall… you are less likely to fracture something! Having trouble sleeping? Try doing a little exercise! Exercise also improves your mood! Who doesn’t love being happy and smiling and being silly because you’re having a good day? I know I do!
And what if you have a chronic pain condition like knee pain or back pain. Simply walking for 150min a week has been shown to improve pain symptoms as well.
But I am about to give you TWO of the MOST AMAZING benefits:
Your BRAIN! It improves your cognition! Improves your attention, and therefore school performance! It also improves cognition in people who have alzeihmers or dementia. So all groups of people can benefit.
Your HEART! Exercise reduces the stress on your heart while you’re doing your daily activities. You won’t get winded as easily when climbing stairs, won’t need as many breaks if you’re playing outside. It helps lower your blood pressure and your cholesterol. It helps protect you from heart attack, and if you’ve already had one, then it can protect you from getting a second one.
Bottom line… exercise makes you smart, happy, strong and healthy! Last thing to know:
The time you spend watching TV, playing video games, on a computer or desk or seated are all very important.
These are all referred to as SEDENTARY BEHAVIORS. Or what is commonly known as: Being a Couch potato. These are behaviors that you want to LIMIT as much as possible because they affect your health even if you are exercising regularly. Ever hear of the term “use it or loose it”? Exactly! If you don’t move around, you won’t need the muscle. Muscle strength protects your body from injuries. Sitting for too long without moving changes your metabolism. You won’t be as efficient at breaking down sugars or fats. You can gain weight. It can affect your mood too by making you feel sad and depressed. You can even lose bone strength and lose stability, which means you are more prone to falls and fractures! None of this sounds like fun.
But that’s not all! Did you know that these activities can actually increase your risk of heart attacks and death? YIKES.. Definitely NO BUENO! So Lets get moving!
So I challenge you to play the game… it is meant to get you to be more active, even with simple daily things. Here’s today’s challenge:
Watching TV? Lets get silly.
10 push ups (knees on floor or feet on the floor its up to you!)
10 sit ups
10 squats (or stand in front of the couch and make believe you’re about to sit down… and right when your booty touches the sofa, stand back up. If you fall.. well you fall on your butt right into the fluffy couch so no biggie.)
10 jumping jacks. PHEW! Just reading that was a workout! I know you got this. Do this for as many commercials as you can, the one who does it for the most commercials will unlock a little bonus.
Want that extra challenge?
- Say you have to work on your computer for a few hours. Put a timer on your phone. For every 40 minutes you are sitting, you must do 10 burpees, 10 squats and 10 push ups. Do this for 3-4 hours. This means, 3-4 sets of 10 burpees, squats and push ups. I would say enjoy the burpees but lets be honest, no one likes doing them… but its worth it!