Posted on January 19, 2017 |
by Rebecca Crouch, DPT, MS, CCS - Pulmonary Physical Therapist
Now is the time to make those New Year’s Resolutions and get active!
First, a few motivating facts:
- Did you know that only 150 minutes over a 7 day week of moderate-intensity activity will offer enormous advantages to your current and future cardiac and PULMONARY health? What does moderate-intensity mean? It means that your exercise feels challenging: not too hard and not too easy. If you don’t feel a little winded and moist from perspiration, then you probably aren't working quite hard enough.
- On high energy days, plan continuous (non-stop) “aerobic” exercise for 20-30 minutes. Examples are treadmill walking, walking in your neighborhood or a nature trail, stationary bicycling, water walking or light swimming. You may want to wear a mask outside if you’re sensitive to smells and pollen.
- On moderate energy days, break your exercise up into increments. For example, walk for 10 minutes 2 to 3 times that day. Interval exercise has been found to be almost as effective as longer, continuous exercise in promoting pulmonary health.
- On terrible, ugly, “I don’t want to get out of bed” days, break up your “activity” periods into even smaller and frequent increments. For example, walk around a set pathway inside your house for 5 minutes at least 4-6 hours of that day; i.e. from 10 AM to 10:05 AM and so forth. If you’re able to do that, then you’ll get in your 20-30 minutes of physical activity.
- Oh yes, and don’t forget some meditative breathing, stretching of chest and other major joints, and muscle strengthening. Dumbbells, wrap around cuff weights, and flexible stretch bands are all reasonably priced items to have “conveniently” lying around the house. Make it fun and design a “strength, stretch, and breathe” obstacle course or exercise stations. Add a step stool or a flight of stairs to enhance the challenge and shape up those leg muscles.
Shorts weather is just around the corner!