Which of the following types of exercise is considered most important for people in general?
d) Strength training
Although all forms of physical activity benefit everyone, I have noted that two in particular stand out for increased general health and vitality. CSEP (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology) guidelines indicate that to achieve health benefits, 'adults aged 18 to 64 years should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes of more'. Cardiovascular or heart-pumping activity increased fitness, strength and mental health. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of premature death, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis as well as obesity. These types of activities include activities which you can think of as endurance exercise, such as brisk walking or jogging, biking or cycling, or swimming. Strength training, on the other hand, is also beneficial as most of the clients that present for weight management, are sarcopenic, meaning their muscle mass is very limited relative to their fat mass. Resistance training may include activities such as weight lifting, using weight machines, free weights, callisthenic exercises which use your body weight as the resistance (ex: pushups, squats and lunges), as well as resistance training using bands and other equipment such as the TRX. CSEP advises it is also beneficial to include muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least 2 days per week. Anchoring these habits into your lifestyle is the bare minimum to experience the well-being of health and vitality. If you have not exercised for some time, it is always a good idea to begin slowly and allow your body to adapt to the training stimulus as well as obtain consent from your physician prior to starting, to make sure you are good to go! If you chose a) and d), you are absolutely correct!!!