Week 5

April 30, 2018

             Five weeks down and three to go! How crazy is that? Since we are over the half way point now, here are a few things for you to think about. Have you noticed any major changes in your diet, health, or energy level since you started FitEx? Has fitting time into your schedule to be physical active become easier? Have you found a new, healthy dinner or dessert that you love? What has been your biggest barrier thus far, and what has been your biggest accomplishment? But most of all, are you enjoying being a part of a team and being a part of FitEx?

               Let’s talk about goals. When it comes to setting goals, regardless if they are work related or health related, we should set SMART goals. SMART goals stands for specific, measurable, attainable relevant, and time bound. We don’t want our goals to be impossible to reach or else we could become discouraged. On top of this, if we don’t set some sort of time line for ourselves, we may never reach our goal. So, take a moment to think about the goals that you have set so far; have they been SMART goals? If they are, good for you! If your goals aren’t SMART goals. Take some time and see if you can turn them into SMART goals that you can hopefully reach by the end of FitEx.

               SMART goals are just one of the topics in this week’s newsletter, but we also talk about heart health and healthy aging. Have you ever thought about all the health benefits of regular physical activity, especially when it comes to your heart? Being physically active across our life span helps to prevent a plethora of disease including osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Many experts have said that exercise is your heart’s best friend and helps prevent cardiovascular disease, as it decreases your blood pressure, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and improves your cholesterol levels. It also helps maintain the strength of your bones, which aids in the prevention of osteoporosis. And as we mention in this week’s newsletter, staying physically active in your older years helps you stay healthy and active for a longer time.

So, how much physical activity should you be doing each week?

               In 2008, the US Department of Health and Human Services released the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines divided the population into different subgroups and outlined how much physical activity they should be getting each week for optimal health benefits. To stay healthy the guidelines say that adults, which is anyone between the ages of 18 to 64, should complete 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous -intensity aerobic activity a week. In addition, it is recommended that adults do strength training at least two days a week on nonconsecutive days and involve all major muscle groups. For older adults, the recommendation to stay healthy is at least 30 minutes of moderate- intensity activity five days a week or at least 20 minutes of vigorous- intensity activity three days a week. And even though they have a different aerobic activity recommendation, the strength training recommendation is the same for both adults and older adults. In either age group, you can alternate the two intensities on different days to reach your physical activity goal. If you want to find out more about the recommendations, such as the recommendation for additional health benefits or the physical activity recommendation for children check out this link. In next week’s newsletter we are going to talk about getting the whole family involved in physical activity, but maybe brainstorm some ideas until then!

               Can you believe that it is finally spring? This is the perfect season to go outside and get active. It isn’t too hot yet, so you can stay outside and be comfortable for long periods of time.  Maybe you meet your teammates at a local walking or biking trail to get some miles in, or maybe you go on a group hike. There are so many fun things that you can do outside that count towards your physical activity for the day. Or maybe you go to a local farmer’s market, so you can get some fresh food and spend time outside. Whatever you do, get outside, have some fun, and stay active!

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