More than 20 percent of Americans in 46 states are physically inactive according to a January 2022 report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among adults, 25 percent do not have enough physical activity to be healthy. Adequate exercise can lead to better sleep, lower blood pressure, ease anxiety, and decrease the risk of developing major illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancer, and dementia. It can, therefore, avert 10 percent of untimely deaths.
According to the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults must undertake a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes to five hours a week of moderate aerobic exercises. If the aerobic workouts are vigorous, sessions can be reduced to a total of one hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes a week. The total hours for the week must be divided into daily sessions. Doing more hours will result in more health benefits. In addition to aerobics, two or more days of the week must also include exercises to strengthen the major muscle groups.
Overtraining and Wrong Workouts
There is a right and wrong way to do workouts. Doing exercises improperly can result in injuries. Doing too much too soon can also lead to over-fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, lack of energy, insomnia, headaches, and loss of appetite. It drains the motivation to continue with the fitness regimen. Instead of improving health, it can weaken the immune system.
It is important to first consult a doctor to determine one’s physical condition and what workouts are right for you. Next, it is important to learn how to do those exercises correctly. A fitness trainer can do this. Follow the trainer’s advice in slowly easing into a regimen, especially if coming from a period of physical inactivity or low activity. Only increase the duration and intensity of workouts gradually.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans states that the elderly must determine their physical condition and the level of regular physical activity they can safely undertake. They should only do what is within their capability, especially those who have chronic health conditions, but they must not do less than that, either. In addition to aerobic and strengthening exercises, they need training in keeping their balance.
People with chronic health conditions and disabilities must tailor their exercise regimens to their individual situations. For instance, people who have any level of scoliosis must not haphazardly undertake any exercise regimen. Doing so can worsen the condition. It is necessary to consult physical therapists who specialize in scoliosis to learn the proper exercises for the spine and the entire body that address the problem.
Pregnant women must consult their obstetricians. Their significant others must see to this. Once given approval for working out, they must seek fitness trainers who specialize in pregnancy workouts. This ensures that the exercises are supportive of each stage of the pregnancy and will not harm the mother and the baby. Often, the same trainers also offer postpartum fitness training.
Workout Safety Tips
Fitness trainers recommend always doing a warm-up and stretching exercises before a workout to prepare the muscles, heart, and lungs. A cool-down and stretching exercises afterward will normalize the heart rate and help dissipate lactic acid and reduce post-workout muscle pains. These also reduce the risk of injuries. A warm-up and cool-down exercise can be as simple as walking in place.
Many injuries come from repetitive actions on the same body parts. To prevent this, do different types of exercises from day to day. For instance, alternate walking or running with swimming and cycling. There is also a wide variety of aerobic workouts to choose from online and in gyms. If accessible, sports such as basketball and tennis are good aerobic workouts, as well. Just do not do tennis alone every day because that is the reason why there is an injury termed as tennis elbow.
Use the right safety equipment and gear for whatever activity you are undertaking. The wrong running shoes for your feet can cause injuries. Find out if you are flatfooted or have a high arch and get the appropriate shoes. When cycling outdoors, use a helmet that fits properly, reflectors for visibility, protective eyewear that is shatter-resistant, and a bike repair kit.
Another important aspect of finding the right workout is finding what motivates you. For instance, people who love the outdoors will enjoy brisk walking, hiking, running, or biking in the open air. Those who are competitive will love competing in sports. Getting the right mix ensures that you will enjoy what you are doing and will continue to do it regularly. That is the key to a successful fitness routine.