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Spring Has Sprung, So Spring into Action. By Our March Student Pharmacist, Jeremy Church.

With winter coming to an end, it’s time to starting moving again. During this winter, it was easier than ever to stay inside due to the extreme low temperatures and snow.

Now that it’s starting to get warmer, let’s talk about becoming active or staying active. There are two main types of exercise that we will discuss: muscle strengthening and aerobic activity.

Muscle strengthening exercises are activities that help strengthen muscle. There are many different types of exercises to help build muscle–these include lifting weights, exercising with resistance bands, exercises that use your own body weight (pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, etc.), and yoga. Strength training should be done at least twice a week involving all major muscle groups (legs, back, chest, arms, etc.). There is no suggested length of time to perform these exercises twice weekly.

Aerobic activity or “cardio” gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster. There are many different exercises that you can do that are considered aerobic activity. Walking, running, swimming, biking, and tennis are just a few options. The recommended amount of cardio each week depends on the intensity level or how hard you are working during the activity. Moderate activity (brisk walking) should be performed for 150 minutes/week (5-30 minute periods) and vigorous activity (running/jogging) 75 minutes/week.

Starting slow and increasing your exercise level is very important. For example, it is perfectly okay to start with 10 minutes of walking a few times a week.

The 20% boost program is marketed as a realistic way to get to 10,000 steps/day, the amount of steps recommended by the Surgeon General. The boost program suggests starting by purchasing a pedometer to keep track of how many steps you take in a day. During the first week, do not change your routine, but wear your pedometer to get an idea of how many steps you are already taking. Add up your steps for the week and divide that by 7 to get an average of how many steps you took per day that week. Now take that number and multiply it by 1.2 to tell you how to increase the number of steps you take by 20%.

For example, if I add all my steps for week one and it equals 7000 steps, I then divide this number by 7 to equal 1000 steps. This means I averaged 1000 steps per day that week. I then multiply 1000 by 1.2 to increase my total steps by 20% and my new goal is 1200 steps per day for the following week. Do this each week until you reach your goal. This is a safe way to increase your aerobic activity without trying too much too quickly. It can be hard to get back into exercise mode, but starting small and building up to desired levels is a good way to get back into action.

Happy Spring!






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