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Exercise for life

August 7, 2010

Physical activity is one of the vital pillars of longevity.  In fact, studies have found that a well-rounded fitness program can lengthen an individual’s lifespan.  At F.I.T., we recommend an active lifestyle that not only includes low to moderate physical activity on a daily bases, but also incorporates exercises that require greater skill and higher intensity.  An example would be a multi-directional movement where all major muscle groups are being used while completing full range of motion, such as an Olympic-style lift.  This type of movement not only improves muscle activation and coordination, but also optimizes metabolic responses.  The key is to an active lifestyle is to participate in a variety of activities that include all aspects of fitness: cardiorespiratory, muscular, flexibility, speed, agility, reaction time, and coordination.

5 Tips to fit activity into your life:

  • Change Your Lifestyle: Make the decision and then make the change.  According to the American College of Sports Medicine, ideally you want to get in 30-90 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine.  This may be challenging with your business, so try prioritizing and scheduling physical activities.  You are more likely to fit in physical activity if it has a designated day and time.
  • Set Goals Big AND Small: This may be the most important activity immediately following your decision to be more active.  Have a big goal, like becoming more physically fit, and then get simple and specific like accomplishing one strict push-up or climbing the stairs without getting out of breath. Create stages for your goals so that you can slowly chip away at them.
  • Get a coach: You might not know where to start or need a little guidance; there are people out there who can help maximize your efforts and help you reach your goals successfully.  Coaches and personal trainers not only assist with developing an appropriate exercise program, they can also be great motivators and provide accountability.
  • Partner train or join a Group: Change up or recharge your routine with a partner, group session or CrossFit! In a group setting, you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who become part of your support system. The group will get you energized, which will create a fun, competitive, yet safe atmosphere where you are working harder than you never thought possible. The camaraderie of people/partners pulling for you and saying “good job” does more than you realize for your motivation and sense of well-being.
  • Play: Make it fun.  Everyone defines play differently, so get creative and get active.  It can be a sport like softball or soccer, training for a charity event, playing with the kids, flying a kite, coaching a youth sport, or even walking/running with your dog.  Try something completely new that your body has never experienced.

Now, get out there, extend your life, and be active!
Disclaimer:  Before you get started in any exercise program, please contact your physician.

References:
American College of Sports Medicine, 1997.  Guidelines for healthy adults under 65.  Retrieved by:
http://www.acsm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home_Page&TEMPLATE=CM/ HTMLDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=7764
Paffenbarger et al, (July 1994).  Changes in physical activity and other lifeway patterns influencing longevity.  Medicine and Science in Sports Medicine, Volume 26, Issue 7.  Retrieved by:
http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/1994/07000
Changes_in_physical_activity_and_other_lifeway.8.aspx


This entry was posted in Exercise.

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