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#1 New Year Resolution

Running shoes, water bottle and ear phones



Like a blank page, 2020 sits before us with the invitation for us to write our future. For those that will make new year’s resolutions, chances are exercise and fitness related goals will be at the top of the list.


Year after year, fitness goals rank at the top of New Year’s resolutions. In a 2018 poll done by YouGov, the top 2018 new year resolution was Exercise More at 59% of poll responders.[1] Whether you are looking to lose fat, reduce stress or just feel healthier, exercising more is an excellent idea.


The benefits of exercise are numerous and include fat loss, reduced stress and improved sleep. Your doctor may also be happy with you for exercising, as exercise can improve health measures such as lower blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity and increased bone density. Yet, despite the many health perks of exercise, it can be difficult to find all the time to exercise.


How Much Exercise Is Really Needed?

 

Let’s face it. Exercise can be hard enough as it is, but sometimes it can be just as hard to find the time to actually do the exercise. When it comes to figuring on how much time you need to invest in exercise, there are several research-based guidelines to help you figure it out. Depending on your goals, it’s important to make sure you are getting enough exercise to see the results on the scale or in your doctor’s office.


The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week to maintain weight and between 200-300 minutes per week to be effective in long term weight loss.[2] More specifically, if your goal is weight loss, the ACSM recommends a target of 250 minutes or more per week of moderate intensity exercise. But on the other hand, if your goal is just to improve your health, you will want to get at least 150 minutes per week of exercise.


On the surface, these recommendations may seem like a lot of time, but in reality, it can be very manageable. For example, exercising 3-4 times a week for 50-60 minutes is plenty to help maintain your body weight, improve your health or even lose weight. Alternatively, daily exercise around 30 minutes will help you achieve these same goals.


Still Short on Time? Try High Intensity Interval Training

 

Of course, sometimes daily exercise isn’t realistic. Or maybe you really don’t have the time to work out for 50-minute periods of time. Or maybe your workout routine has gone stale and you need to spice it up. If any of this sounds like you, then consider adding in several bouts of high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your weekly schedule.


This type of exercise alternates between short periods of intense exercise and low intensity recovery or rest periods. HIIT type workouts can also be vary by time and weight used to accommodate for any level of fitness. A review of literature published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2019 comparing continuous moderate intensity exercise to high intensity interval training showed that HIIT reduced fat mass in subjects by 28.5% more than moderate intensity exercise.[3]

HIIT style exercise routines may not be for everyone, but they are ideal for those looking to get more out of their time. To get started, try adding an 8-12 minute HIIT workout to your weekly routine and see how you like it.


Move More To Feel Better


Here at McAlpine Chiropractic Group, we encourage our patients to live active lifestyles to help maintain progress made with chiropractic care. It’s part of our job to get people back to their busy, active pain-free lives and we believe exercise is a great way to stay healthy.


So, if you are one of the many people who have made a new year resolution to exercise more, then congratulations to you! You’ve made a commitment to improve your fitness and also improve your health, increase your flexibility and increase your strength. It may not be easy at times, and over the course of the year you may run into some difficult obstacles in your fitness goals, but don’t worry, you can do it. Happy New Year!


Footnotes:


[1] “Editorial NYRs2019.” YouGov. December 6-7, 2018, https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/307bcd90p8/Results%20for%20Editorial%20(NYRs2019)%20293%207.12.2018.xlsx%20%20[Group].pdf. Accessed on 12/20/2019.

2 Donnelly JE, Blair SN, Jakicic, JM. et al. Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Jul;41(7):1532.

3 Viana RB, Naves JPA, Coswig VS, et al. Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). British Journal of Sports Medicine 2019;53:655-664.


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