Performance Coach Amy Nguyen, CF- L2, USAW L1
B.S. Foods & Nutrition, M.S. Exercise Physiology & Nutritional Sciences
Regular physical activity has been shown to help prevent and manage diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers. Also aiding in prevention of hypertension, maintenance of healthy body weight and improving mental health, quality of life and well-being.
The American College of Sports Medicine and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for physical activity state that adults aged 18–65 yr should participate in moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 min on five days per week, or vigorous intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 min on three days per week and every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance for a minimum of two days per week. According to data from the CDC the percentage of adults (18+) that met the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity was only 23.2% (2018 National Health Survey). People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active. Furthermore, over 80% of the world's adolescent population is insufficiently physically active.
Benefits of physical activity include; improvement of muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness, bone and functional health; reduced risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer); depression; reduce the risk of falls as well as hip or vertebral fractures; and helps with maintaining a healthy body weight. In children and adolescents physical activity has been shown to improve physical fitness (cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness); cardiometabolic health (blood pressure, dyslipidemia, glucose, and insulin resistance); bone health; cognitive outcomes (academic performance, executive function); mental health (reduced symptoms of depression); and reduced adiposity.
You may be wondering what is considered physical activity? The World Health Organization defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity refers to all movement. This can include activities we do for leisure like walking your dog, walking to class, taking the stairs, mowing the lawn, and even cleaning your house. Because of our modern day lives with technology and obligations like work or school, we are much more sedentary than we should be. Not having enough opportunities to move and be active throughout the day, many rely on exercise to get physically active. Exercise is a type of physical activity, but not every physical activity is exercise. Exercise is a planned, structured, and repetitive activity for the purpose of improving or maintaining physical fitness.
Starting an exercise routine can be challenging and we can face many obstacles in getting started and building consistency. Some of the barriers many face are lack of time, lack of motivation, lack of energy, lack of support, fear of injury or lack of skill. And these can all seem daunting when first starting!
Here are a few tips when trying to get that journey started.
Lack of time, lack of energy
Rearrange your current routine. Take an honest assessment of your day and see how you can play with your schedule and time. Focus on one small step first and see if you can fit step number one in, whether that’s going to the gym during lunch three times a week instead of going out to lunch, waking up twenty minutes earlier each day to go for that walk with your dog, or winding down an hour earlier at night for better rest and your overall well-being. Try to put all the excuses to the side and be open to redesigning the day and really give it a chance. Let it settle in for a few weeks before judging it and do not judge yourself. Find a way to fit in the enhancements for a better routine, for you, your happiness and health.
Lack of motivation, lack of support, fear of injury or lack of skill
Joining a gym or fitness facility with qualified instructors is a great start! We at Olympus have a community of athletes and members who support, motivate, and keep one another accountable. Our qualified instructors ensure proper movement, progression and growth for each individual.
Find your step one, work on building consistency a step at a time. Give yourself grace and remember that physical activity and exercise are empowering. Our bodies are amazing beautiful things. It's amazing what we can accomplish with them, at the same point it is important to prioritize taking care of it!
Author: Annemarie Alf
"We Specialize In Optimizing Teen And Active Adult Lives In North County San Diego By Addressing The WHOLE Person. We offer A Holistic, Integrative Approach To Performance And Wellness That Will Assess And Address The Root Causes That Lead To Pain, Hormonal Imbalances, Fatigue, Weight Gain And/ Or Decreased Performance."