Recently I was perusing the Rodale website when I came upon an interesting article: "What's Your Exercise Personality? Find Out, Get Fit" We've been told everyone needs at least 150 minutes of exercise per week (or 30 minutes, 5 days a week) to maintain our weight. Then back in March, some genius published a study in the Journal of American Medical Association that women actually need 60 minutes of exercise every day of the week to maintain a healthy weight. I know what you're thinking, "in what world are they living where this is possible?" The average person is to busy to get in 60 minutes, 7 days a week. For some, even finding 30 minutes, 5 days a week can be a struggle. Needless to say, many health professionals were worried that this news would deter many women from exercising at all, feeling that it would just be too difficult to achieve (scary mental flashback to this woman). But, women, and men, need to keep in mind that this was just one study and participants were responsible for keeping track of their own data over a 13 year period.
The gist is, we all need to be physically active as often as possible to maintain a healthy weight and live healthy lives. But, we don't need to spend hours trapped on a cardio machine in a gym of sweaty strangers if that doesn't seem appealing. According to this article, Michael Bracko, EdD, says all we need to do is figure out what type of exercise is most enjoyable and then it's much easier to make time for fitness. This makes total sense because often people think of exercise as a chore, rather than a hobby or something to enjoy and have fun with.
Bracko breaks exercise down into four categories:
1. Functional Fitness: gardening, walking the dog, cleaning, raking, shoveling, and even bowling and golf. These activities are great for people just starting to add fitness into their lives as well as older people trying to stay active. But, some are also every day activities and bowling and golf are great social activities, so they're often done without even thinking about the fact that they are exercise!
2. Health Related Fitness: yoga, tai chi, walking. These are often pursued by people who have a health issue, those with high blood pressure, people who live stressful lives, and those who don't like high intensity exercise. They are also enjoyed by people of all ages and because they involve a lot of movement, they burn calories!
3. Physical Fitness: pretty self-explanatory - cardio, strength training, stretching. This is for people who enjoy high intensity workouts, love feeling strong at the end of a workout, or perhaps enjoy setting specific goals. People who enjoy physical fitness also tend to see it as an important component of physical and mental health.
4. Recreational Fitness: sports, team or individual. Often people who have interest in a particular sport and are motivated to learn it find the most joy in recreational sports. They may enjoy being part of a team and the thrill of competition.
(I'm not quite sure where running, hiking, biking and swimming fall, physical or recreational, but either way, they are great ways to be active!)
Many people enjoy more than one of these types of fitness, but even if you don't, finding one thing or another will help motivate you to be active and you'll have fun getting (or staying) in shape. You don't have to be a runner (although it might feel like it if you read a lot of blogs), you don't have to spend hours in a gym each week. Just figure out what fits your personality, what you enjoy and start moving!!
I just happen to enjoy running and kayaking!
Have you ever pushed yourself to follow a particular fitness routine because you thought you had to, not because you wanted to? What was the result? What is your favorite way to stay fit and active?
Workout Stats -
3x10 cable-pull twists
3x10 (ea side) weighted side bends
125 crunches (various)
2x60sec planks (1 stability ball, 1 floor)
foam roller, stretching