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Exercise Recommendations:

Aerobic Exercise, Resistance Training, Flexibility, Balance, and Weight Loss



Aerobic Exercise

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines aerobic exercise as any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously and is rhythmic in nature.

All healthy adults aged 18–65 yr should participate in moderate intensity aerobic physical activity, (working hard enough to break a sweat, but still able to carry on a conversation), 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.

Combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity exercise can be performed to meet this recommendation.

Moderate intensity aerobic activity can be accumulated to total the 30 min minimum by performing bouts each lasting 10 min.

Examples of typical aerobic exercises are: walking, running, stair climbing, cycling, rowing and swimming.



Resistance Training

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that a strength training program should be performed a minimum of two non-consecutive days each week, with one set of 8 to 12 repetitions for healthy adults or 10 to 15 repetitions for older and frail individuals. Eight to 10 exercises should be performed that target the major muscle groups.

Strength

Muscular strength is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert a maximal external force.

• Load: 60-70% 1RM for novice to intermediate; 80-100% for advanced

• Volume: 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for novice to intermediate; 2-6 sets of 1-8 repetitions for advanced

• Rest period: 2-3 min for higher intense exercises that use heavier loads; 1-2 minutes between the lower intense exercises with light loads



Hypertrophy

Muscular hypertrophy is the enhancement of muscle size.

• Load: 70-85% 1RM for novice to intermediate; 70-100% for advanced

• Volume: 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for novice to intermediate; 3-6 sets of 1-12 repetitions for advanced

• Rest period: 2-3 min for higher intense exercises that use heavier loads; 1-2 minutes between the lower intense exercises with light loads

Endurance

Local muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or a muscle group to repeatedly exert a submaximal resistance.

• Load: lower than 70% of 1RM

• Volume: 2-4 sets of 16-30 repetitions

• Rest period: 30 seconds to 1-minute between each set

Flexibility

Flexibility refers to the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion (ROM) with ease. 

• Frequency: ≥2-3 days/week of stretching the major muscles groups; greater gains will be attained if done daily

• Intensity: Stretch to the point of slight discomfort or feeling of tightness in muscle.

• Time: 30-60 seconds of static stretching holds for older persons 10-30 seconds of static stretching holds for most adults.

• Sets: 2-4 repetitions of each stretch is recommended.

Properly performed stretching exercises can aid in improving and maintaining range of motion in a joint or a series of joint. Flexibility exercises should be performed in a slow, controlled manner with a gradual progression to greater ranges of motion



Balance

Frequency: engage in balance activities 2 or 3 days/wk.

Progressively increase the difficulty of the balance exercises by using a narrower base of support such as two-leg stance, semi tandem stance, tandem stance, and one-leg stance. 

Include dynamic movements that challenge the center of gravity such as tandem walking and circle turns.

Displace the center of mass by stepping over obstacles and balancing on a rocker platform. 

Use exercises that stress postural muscles, such as heel stands and toe stands, and exercises that reduce visual or sensory input, such as standing with eyes closed or standing on a foam pad.



Weight Loss

To lose weight and to prevent regaining it, you may need up to 250 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. 

For safe and effective weight loss, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that individuals lose no more than 2 pounds (0.9 kg) per week.

ACSM also recommends that for realistic weight loss a person should strive to: 

(1) burn 300—400 calories per workout session

(2) exercise a minimum of three days per week (preferably daily)

(3) create a daily calorie deficit of approximately 500–1000 calories through regular physical activity and calorie monitoring

One pound (0.45 kg) of excess body fat stores about 3500 calories of energy.

To lose 1 pound (0.45 kg) per week, a 500-calorie deficit must be created each day.





American College of Sports Medicine,, et al. ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Tenth edition. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2018.

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