Four types of exercise

Some people receive structural integration to help them move more easily or improve athletic performance. Related to maintaining the benefits of SI work, I have written before about the benefits of walking and yoga. Today, I am going to discuss the various types of exercise to incorporate into your week, based on some recent reading I have done.

1. General activity – move more during the day
Research indicates that sitting too long during the day can lead to a number of serious health problems down the line. Even people who are diligent about going to the gym are still affected by these health problems if they are mainly sedentary the rest of the time. To address the risks from sitting, we need to stand up and move more throughout the day.

You’ve probably heard many of these next suggestions before, as I have. I wondered how much good does it do? The answer is, quite a lot! You can no doubt think of other activities to add to your day.

When doing sedentary activities, stand up every 20 minutes. If you can, set up a standing workstation for your computer. While watching TV, fold clothes or do light exercises. Park farther away or get off the bus a stop or two early. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a short walk over lunch. Walk over to talk to someone at work. Gardening and cleaning count, too. If you want to use a pedometer to track your progess, build up to 10,000 steps over the course of the entire day.

2) Resistance training
Using your body weight, hand weights/resistance bands or machines to do resistance training is good for your bones and helps minimze the loss of muscle mass that occurs with age. Start with just 5 – 10 minutes, done 2 or 3 times a week.

3) Cardio
Yes, cardio is still important even if you’ve ramped up your general activity during the day. As far as I can tell, a reasonable goal is to accrue a total of 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

4) High intensity
One source described high intensity exercise as the the body’s equivalent to unclogging a slow drain. It’s great for your metabolism. Fortunately, a little goes a long way when it comes to high intensity work. Go as fast and hard as you can without hurting yourself. Build up to a total of 3 minutes, once a week.

Resources:
Dr. Michael Mosley on PBS
Dr Jame Levine, Mayo Clinic on sitting too much
“The First 20 Minutes” by Gretchen Reynolds 
American Council on Exercise: Fit Site 
Dr Kelly McGonigal“Foodist” by Darya Pino Rose

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