Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Exercise or ADL?

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently made some changes to their 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for adults. One of the most important aspects of these guidelines is the ACSM definition of regular exercise. For example, after my run, I spent some doing a little gardening. 

Gardening is not easy stuff - there's bending, squatting, reaching, pulling (fighting with weeds!), walking back and forth, picking up, throwing out and carting of garbage/compost. And yet, according to the ACSM, gardening is not exercise. Nope - neither is dusting, vacuuming or shoveling snow! 
The ACSM considers these ADL: "Activities for Daily Living"

So, what is exercise? The ACSM says that for adults to stay fit, we need to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week and this exercise should include the following:
  • Cardiorespiratory (aerobic): Moderate aerobic exercise could be anywhere from 30+ minutes five times a week or vigorous aerobic exercise 20+ minutes three days per week.
      Wing-man getting a cardio workout on the dirt bike!
  • Resistance training: Train each major muscle group 2-3 times per week with a variety of free weights and lifting equipment/machines.

  • Flexibility: Also 2-3 days per week. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. It's better to stretch after your muscles are warmed up to prevent tearing a muscle.
No mini-man, reaching to open a bottle on the bottom of your
REEF sandals does not constitute stretching! 
  • Neuromotor Exercise or "Functional Fitness": This is the up and coming buzz word in the fitness industry and includes training for balance, agility and gait. 


This is a very general guideline for adult fitness. For some - these guidelines are goals to be met - stuff New Year's resolutions are made out of - and for others - who need more, to stay sane (me, myself and I) - these guidelines are the essential skeletal framework for something more. Either end of the spectrum - as long as you stay active - the benefits far outweigh any excuse!

Train Smart Today!

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