Tag Archives: Exercise Duration

Weekend Warrior Alert

Are you a weekend warrior?  Though I applaud your enthusiasm, perhaps it would be in your best interests to consider participating in more consistent moderate exercise, as muscle and bone strengthening at least 2 days a week are part and parcel of a healthy exercise regimen to minimize self-injury.  (My confession – much to my own husband’s chagrin, I too, have participated rather gleefully in some weekend warrior action of my own!)

Weekend Warrior

This brings us to the following question – just how much daily exercise should you be getting?

The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP) is the leading Canadian scientific authority on exercise physiology, health and fitness.  They are the governing body responsible for establishing the recommended exercise guidelines for all Canadians.  You can check out these exercise guidelines here.

To highlight some of the most relevant take home points for you:

Healthy adults between 18-64 years are encouraged to participate in a variety of physical activities above and beyond the physical activities accumulated in the course of daily living.

Just to remind you, exercise reduces your risk of premature death, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, colon cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis (to name but a few of the health benefits).  In general, more exercise = higher level of fitness = improved lean body mass composition = better moods and to boot, a better ability to handle stress!

The CSEP recommends healthy adults between the age of 18-64 accumulate 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical exercise each week for a minimum of 10 minute intervals.

Over the course of the week, that means investing approximately 22 minutes each day, which isn’t so hard in the grand scheme of the day.  I am sure if we were all completely honest with ourselves, we could each find 22 minutes everyday and swamp putzing around with more beneficial time on what I like to call “project save your knees“!

Worried this may be too much to start?  Don’t be.  For one, you can still reap benefits even investing less than 20 minutes each day.  (Some movement is definitely better than none!) Secondly, your Naturopathic Doctor can help you increase your duration, frequency and intensity as part of your comprehensive total health care plan.  We can discuss with you strategies to make incorporation of exercise both manageable, sustainable, and something that becomes routinely incorporated into your lifestyle.

Moderate Activity May Be Key to Saving Knees

I was recently reading about a presentation put forth at the North American Radiological Society by a Research Fellow at the University of California San Francisco, which you can find here.  Though this article concludes moderate activity may be the key to saving knees, this article also suggests that too much exercise led to early degenerative cartilage changes in the knees of healthy people aged 45 – 60 and in those at risk for osteoarthritis on examination of the structural changes of the knee using MRI over a period of 4 years.

mike-twohy-the-knees-are-the-first-thing-to-go-new-yorker-cartoonI would argue, however, that for the average Canadian, sedentary lifestyles are perhaps more problematic and more prevalent in our North American population compared to those who participate in too much movement as evidenced by the numerous accounts of the increasing weight epidemic and diabetes, or “diabesity” problem.

Before you jump to the conclusion that too much exercise indeed predisposes a person to early degenerative knee changes, in defence of the importance of exercise, it may also be important to know that population in this study were at high risk for knee osteoarthritis because of family history, obesity, and/or a history of knee injury or replacement surgery.

Reference

Lin, W. et al.  (2012).  High levels of physical activity are associated with greater cartilage degeneration over a period of 4 years as assessed with T2 relaxation time measurements – 3T MRI data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.  Radiological Society of North America.