When you think of an effective workout, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most people immediately jump to cardio or strength training when answering this question. But there is so much more to exercise and getting fit! The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) created guidelines on exercise type and time guidelines. Keep reading to learn more!
The main types of exercise include:
- Cardio: Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is commonly defined as rhythmic movements that increase your heart rate and respirations, and pump oxygen throughout your body at a faster rate than normal. Most cardio exercises work major muscles, like those in your legs. The most common types of cardio include walking, jogging, running, dance, cycling and working out on elliptical machines.
- Resistance or strength training: This type of exercise requires you to use your body weight or equipment such as free weights, dumbbells, bands or exercise machines to use resistance in order to strengthen your muscles and increase endurance. Resistance exercises may help boost your metabolism, build muscle, improve bone strength and increase mobility.
- Flexibility: Exercises that fall within this category generally test your range of motion, stretch your muscles and help your body move more freely. Increasing your flexibility through stretching may help you improve your range of motion and athletic performance.
- Neuromotor: This type of exercise requires the use of your motor skills such as balance, coordination and agility. You may also hear it referred to as functional fitness training. Neuromotor exercises may help you improve your overall physical function. Tai chi and yoga are great examples of neuromotor exercises.
According to the ASCM, you should be performing these exercises as follows each week:
- Cardio exercises are best when performed at least 150 minutes at moderate intensity or 75 minutes at vigorous intensity.
- Resistance exercise should be performed 2 or 3 days, while allowing 48 hours between sessions for muscle recovery.
- Flexibility exercises are suggested 2 or 3 days. Each stretch should not be held for more than 30 seconds.
- Neuromotor exercises are also recommended 2 or 3 days per week at 20 to 30 minutes per session.
For Health Advocate members
If you are a Health Advocate member with access to the wellness coaching component of our Wellness Program, call to speak to a Wellness Coach who can provide you with more tips to help you increase your level of fitness.