21333 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Start a Regular Exercise Program

    Here's Why:

    image Exercise helps keep your body healthy and your tissues and organs working properly. By keeping your body in good working order, exercise also helps ward off many diseases, such as heart disease , stroke , type 2 diabetes , osteoporosis , and many others.

    Here's How:

    In 2008, the United States Department of Health and Human Services released physical activity guidelines for Americans. They recommend that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate–intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous–intensity aerobic physical activity per week. For additional health benefits, they recommend that adults increase this amount to 300 minutes of moderate–intensity or 150 minutes a week of vigorous–intensity per week.
    Your exercise program should include:

    Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Exercise

    In aerobic exercise, you continually move large muscles in the legs and buttocks. This action causes you to breathe more deeply and your heart to work harder to pump blood, thereby strengthening your heart and lungs.
    Examples include:

    Strength Training (Resistance) Exercise

    Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which increases your physical strength and your bone mass.
    Examples include:
      Weight lifting , using:
      • Free weights
      • Weight machines
      • Elastic tubing
    • Calisthenics, such as push ups or chin ups

    Flexibility (Stretching) Exercise

    Stretching can offer many benefits, such as improving:
    • Flexibility
    • Range of motion
    • Circulation
    Major muscle groups to stretch include:
    • Back muscles
    • Neck muscles
    • Leg muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles
    • Chest muscles
    • Buttocks and hip muscles
    • Shoulder and arm muscles
    • Stomach muscles
    Stretching classes include:
    Here are some tips for safe stretching:
    • Spend at least 5-10 minutes warming up your muscles before stretching. For example, walking gently while swinging your arms in wide circles.
    • Start each stretch slowly, exhaling as you gently stretch the muscle.
    • Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.
    Here are some common stretching mistakes to avoid:
    • Do not bounce during a stretch.
    • Do not stretch a muscle that is not warmed up.
    • If a stretch hurts, ease up. Do not strain or push a muscle too far.
    • Do not hold your breath while stretching.

    Getting Started

    Before starting an exercise program, check with your doctor about any possible medical problems you may have that would limit your exercise program.
    Consider making an appointment with a certified athletic trainer to help you develop a safe, effective, and enjoyable exercise program. You can find a trainer at a local gym or through a referral from your doctor or a friend. Make sure this person understands your goals and can help you maintain an exercise program that you will enjoy and stick with.

    RESOURCES

    American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org

    Weight-control Information Network http://win.niddk.nih.gov

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Canada Safety Council http://www.safety-council.org

    Public Safety Canada http://www.safecanada.ca

    References

    2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed February 17, 2014.

    Exercise: how to get started. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Dec 15;74(12):2095-2096. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20061215/2095ph.html. Accessed February 17, 2014.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.