The Exercise B.A.S.I.C.S. You Should Know – Article 13

“You don’t have to be fit and healthy to start, but you do have to start to be fit and healthy.”

During the recent 30 Day Moving Challenge Zoom calls, I referred to my “Exercise B.A.S.I.C.S. Formula”. So I thought it might be helpful to produce an article which summarises this for you.

The Exercise BASICS Formula answers two important questions about exercise or physical activity, that everyone should know.

  1. How much exercise should you do?
  2. What kind of exercise should you do?

1. How Much Exercise Should You Do?

The minimum recommended activity level across the world, is in the range of 2.5 to 3 hours a week. So, if you’re not yet at the minimum you should gradually and progressively work your way up to that level.

When you get there, don’t stop! Ease your way gradually and progressively up to the Optimum Level of 7 hours a week or an average of 1 hour a day. This does not mean you can’t go beyond 7 hours, you can but we don’t know if there are any additional health benefits to be gained.

2. What Kind of Exercise, Should You Do?

Exercise or physical activity is a very broad term covering a multitude of different physical activities, from Aqua Aerobics to Zumba. The answer to the question lies in this easy to understand acronym – the BASICS.

B – Baseline: This is a term used to describe all the “unplanned” moving that you do every day from the time you get up to the time you go to bed. It excludes planned exercise, such as going for a walk, a cycle or a swim. Baseline exercise or moving should be a high priority in your life but everyone who completed the recent 30 Day Moving Challenge knows this!

A – Aerobic: Aerobic exercise includes walking, running, swimming and cycling and should be a high priority. It’s the “Bread and Butter” of all physical activities and is very good for your physical and mental health. When starting, you should always ease your way gradually and progressively into aerobic activity.

S – Strength: Maintaining your strength should also be a high priority because we lose muscle mass as we get older. You can use weight machines or free weights but my favourite is to use my own body weight. Because this is so important, the next Forever Young Club article will focus on strength.

I – Intensity: Higher intensity exercise should be a part of your exercise routine. While aerobic exercise is great, it’s not very effective, if that’s all you do. You should exercise at different levels of intensity, as this is how you get fitter, stronger and faster. However, be careful with high intensity activity! If you do too much too quickly you greatly increase your risk of injury which defeats the purpose of doing higher intensity activity in the first place.

C – Cross-Training: This simply means you should mix it up and do other forms of activity along with your main form of exercise. So instead of say, walking all the time, try something different on 1 or 2 days/week. There are many things you can do from aqua aerobics to Zumba and they’ll increase the your overall enjoyment. Cross-training is also a great way to promote optimum fitness.

S – Stretching: This should be part of your exercise as it helps you maintain flexibility and balance. Stretching and warming up are not the same, so always warm up for 10 minutes, if you want to stretch before exercise. Stretching after exercise is a good idea as you improve the flexibility of muscles that would otherwise tighten up and this will pay dividends the next day.

The B.A.S.I.C.S. implies that for optimum fitness you should be doing all of the above. If you’re just starting back into exercise, your initial focus should be on baseline [moving], aerobic, strength and stretching. You can add higher intensity and cross-training activity later.

Your Comments

Your comments and questions are very important to us. If you have any questions about the 30 Day Moving Challenge, in particular, let us know as we plan to discuss these in our next podcast.

1 Comment

  1. Just do it!
    Regardless how many hours you slept or weather forecast or running nose..or else


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