Exercise Basics

What, Why, How...

Weekly Recommendations for Physical Activity

American College of Sports Medicine


Before You Start!

It is important to always stay safe when exercising. We can easily push ourselves past our limits or “overdo it”. Here are some tips to remember when exercising:

  1. Consult with your physician before starting any new exercise program
  2. Always where clothing appropriate for the exercise to allow proper range of motion and support
  3. Properly warm up and cool down to help prevent injury and promote recovery - 5-10 minutes of movement to get the blood flowing to the body parts being targeted before and stretching afterwards
  4. Be aware of your surroundings when exercising and use a spotter when lifting weights
  5. NEVER STATIC STRETCH COLD- this will lead to injury
  6. Do your homework. - read up on the exercise program you want to try or consult with a personal trainer before you start. This site has some great examples of cardio (aerobic) and strength (anaerobic) exercises and their benefits
  7. Stay Hydrated
  8. Give Yourself a Break - do not do the same exercises day after day
  9. Make Sure You Eat - food is fuel, do not exercise without energy

Different Methods for Cardio Training

Cardio exercise can be performed in several different ways; swimming, jogging and cylcing to name a few. How you train in those ativites is key, below are some training styles to help you maximize your efforts and reach your goals:

  • Endurance: Long distances for long periods of time 
  • Interval: Changing speeds and durations during the bout of exercise (planned and timed)
    • Example: Running for 2 min @ 5 mph pace and then walk for 30 sec
  • Fartlek: Random changes in pace during bout (spontaneous and unplanned)
    • Example: Sprint to the end of the street as fast as you can and then jog for a little while and then sprint again – based on how you feel with less emphasis on time and pace
  • Pace/Tempo: Running specific speeds and tempos with the intent on improving race times (training for racing, swimming or cycling events)

*** Interval and fartlek training are the best methods for weight loss! *** 

Different Methods for Flexibility Training

Flexibility exercises are great for preventing injury and improving joint structure, especially as we age. There are different types of flexibility exercise programs such as yoga, calisthenics and basic touching your toes! Below you will find some techniques to consider when performing flexibility movements.

There are several training styles to achieve your flexibility goals and improve Range of Motion (ROM):

  • Static Active: stretch and hold
    • example: touching toes
  • Static Passive: holding a stretch with a body part (hands) or aparatus
    • example: arm across chest or splits
  • Dynamic: range of motion movement
    • example: leg swing

Different Methods for Strength Training

Strength training (anaerobic) exercise is a great way to build strength, bone density, muscle mass and gain flexibility. There are several methods for strength training; weightlifting, plyometrics and pilates are some examples. Each of these methods have different technique or variations. Here are some different techniques to consider and depend on your goal:

  • TBW: Total Body Weight, Pilates and plyometrics, increase strength and endurance
    • example: pushups, box jumps, burpees
  • Powerlifting: Olympic style movements with heavy weights and lower volume, builds strength and power
    • example: Clean and jerk, bench press, deadlift
  • Bodybuilding: exercises that target a specific muscles or groups, light weight with greater volume, builds strength and size
    • example: biceps curls, triceps extension, rows
  • Circuit Training: a style of strength training combined with endurance
    • example: stations with different exercises performed in succession; usually with body weight exercises or lighter weights
  • HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training combining strength with cardio primarily for fat loss while building strength
    • example: similar to circuit training with heavier weights at higher intensity

*** It is recommended that older individuals focus on strength training because of the muscle building and bone density increasing properties!! ***

 

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