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Exercise, how much is enough?

This BLOG tends to centre on fat loss, getting in shape, feeling great, and so on and so forth.

This is all very well and good but we’re all busy individuals that live active lives, and we rush about here and there.

I mean do we really have to go to a gym, or such like when we’re busy doing ‘life’?

Here’s a study from a few years ago, that stated the problems in perception back then. I wonder how they are now? I talk to many people who don’t ‘exercise’ but tell me they are ‘active enough’ in their day-to day lives…. here’s some stats on that from HEA 1995 and ADS 1992 (relate to men and women, ages 16 to 74 years)

1. Most adults believe they do enough exercise to keep fit
2. 70% of men and 80% of women are not active enough to benefit their health (and if you don’t use it, you lose it)
3. 90% of adults believe it is important to exercise regularly, yet only 40% do any.
4. 80% were not aware of how much to do
5. 2/3 of women and 1/3 of men found it difficult to walk briskly up a slight slope for a while
6. 1/3 of men and ½ women aged between 65 and 74 do not have sufficient muscle strength or power to lift 50% of their body weight making everyday movements difficult – such as getting up from a chair without using the chair arms (squatting bodyweight in effect)

I think this study is very relevant today, and as time goes on things get progressively worse if we don’t take the steps (literally) to keep in shape. (btw did you know a side effect of ‘proper’ exercise is fat loss, toned muscles, more energy, looking good, clearer thinking, counteracting the set in of degenerative diseases such as heart attacks, cancer and so on….. oh you did know that…… Just checking)

In truth our nation is getting more overweight and dare-I-say-it obese.

I addressed one of the reasons as to why this is happening (one of many reasons) in a previous post called Overfed and Undernourished, and the above goes a little further in making us think why this is happening and what to do about it.

If taking America as a benchmark of what we, in the UK, seem to follow we can see that one-third of that nation is now obese. A further third is overweight.

Even La France, which has usually been touted as a healthy Western Country, is slowing down with the amount of people overweight over there increasing 50 percent in the past decade and is now 42 percent, with 12 percent of them being obese! Sacré Bleu (cheese)

My point is this. Think about how much exercise you and your family (especially your parents) are doing. Is it enough? What is enough?

Well according to the ACSM (American Council of Sports Medicine) to reduce mortality (to hold off early death I guess) we need;

FREQUENCY :: 5-7 times per week
INTENSITY :: 50-80% of MHR (Max Heart Rate, so this is 220 minus your age is MHR and then divide this by 0.50 and 0.80 to get the two percentages to work against)
TIME :: 30 mins
TYPE :: Use large muscle groups

Ok, this is all well and good, but I would wager that five 4 minute Tabata sets a week would have the same effect. Don’t know what Tabata is (you must be new to this page), then watch this

Throw in some resistance training (weight training with heavy weights – for both ladies and gents), 1 or 2 Bootcamps, maybe some sprints (if you’re in good health) and some good (or even great) nutrition and you’re no longer at risk of death and now on the pathway to serious Fat Loss, lean muscle gain, feeling great and looking great on the beach this summer.

Back onto the subject of your parents, btw. Assuming that they are currently in good health.

Are they getting some gym time in? Is there a gym class that may interest them? Do they like swimming? If they go our walking, do they walk fast or slow (if slow, then great….. get them to walk faster). What interests them, as I would be pretty sure to bet that they fit into the 6 points above in some way or another?

Do you like them? (just checking) Do you want them to keep healthy and happy? If so challenge them and see if you can get them challenging themselves fitness wise. They will thank you for it……. eventually


(btw with your parents or other older friends, please get them to get doctors clearance first if over the age of 50 and they have not been active in a gym environment for the past year, best to keep all bases covered)

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