It's not enough to just be physically active to maintain good health. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), we also need to incorporate exercise times into our week. If you get up and move during your day, then you are being physically active.
The body requires repetitive, sustained movements for good health though.
For example, I'm very physically active during my work day. I teach three or four hours each day of group strength classes.
I do a lot of walking in my day, but it wasn't enough for my aerobic or breathing health. I applied the ACSM aerobic exercise recommendations for older adults to my own routine and I began to feel even better and breathe easier during my workday.
Aerobic exercise is also known as endurance exercise. Examples of endurance exercise include walking, jogging, swimming and biking.
When you train your body with endurance exercises, you'll see that doing daily house and yard activities such as vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, raking and push-mowing get easier. We need to exercise to make our daily physical activities easier.
The minimum recommendation for endurance exercise is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity each week. That's two-and-a-half hours each week. I break this down to 30 minutes a day for 5 days for my endurance exercise. I know there are people that cannot endure 30 minutes at one time so they break it down even further to three 10 minute segments and walk after each meal. A moderate intensity endurance exercise could be a 3 mph walk, water aerobics, ballroom dancing, or bicycling slower than 10 mph.
Challenge yourself to a planned, sustained walk 30 minutes each day or walk 10 sustained minutes after each meal.
You may find that you'll start to feel better, think better and look better. Isn't that what it's all about? Feeling better?
Now that you've made a commitment to include endurance exercise into your week, we need to add resistance exercise to the routine.
I'll talk about how much fun resistance can be in my next column. Until then, eat well, sleep well and exercise. Here's to your good health.
About the author: Jonathan Souder is the fitness director at Manor House, an ACTS Retirement-Life Community in Seaford. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.