Why is exercise important?
The important components of exercise include cardiorespiratory fitness, resistance training, flexibility, and neuromotor training. Each of these present different health benefits when you incorporating them in your training.
- Cardiorespiratory Fitness – decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer
- Resistance Training – increased muscle mass, improved body composition (body fat % compared to muscle/lean tissue mass %), and increased bone density or slowed bone density loss
- Flexibility – decreased risk of some muscle and tendon injuries and improved joint range of motion
- Neuromotor Training – increase in balance, improved coordination, and increased strength in the connection between your brain and muscles
How much should I be exercising?
It is often difficult for people with busy schedules, like college students, to find time in their day or week for a consistent exercise program. However, benefits of exercise come with even short bouts of exercise. It is important to realize that finding time to exercise is important for physical and mental health, which will benefit your other activities greatly over time.
- Aerobic activity – the Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate activity (walking, swimming, yoga, etc.) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (running, dancing, etc.) a week, or some combination of both. These exercises should be spread over the course of the week.
- Strength training – the Department of Health and Human Services recommends doing strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. You should do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12-15 repetitions.
- Reduce sitting time – the more hours you sit each day, the higher risk of metabolic problems, even if you achieve the recommended about of physical activity. The American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps a day or about five miles of walking.
Looking for home workout options?
St. Olaf Recreation’s Home Fitness website has resources for getting moving at home.