“In addition to outlining basic recommendations and their scientific reasoning, the ACSM position also clarifies some additional points: ‘Though exercise protects against heart disease, it is still possible for active adults to develop heart problems. All adults must be able to recognize the warning signs of heart disease, and all health care providers should ask patients about these symptoms. Sedentary behavior—sitting for long periods of time—is distinct from physical activity and has been shown to be a health risk in itself. Meeting the guidelines for physical activity does not make up for a sedentary lifestyle.’ So getting healthy is not only about increasing activity, it’s also about decreasing periods of inactivity.”
“I don’t think I follow you about the inactivity part,” said Tracy.
“Somewhere along the way, we started equating exercise with ‘going to the gym,’ instead of just being more active. We now know that long periods of inactivity are actually very harmful to the body, and it’s the thing that scares me most about our youth these days; the long hours spent playing video games or on their phones, without interruption. We need to be moving more throughout the day, not sitting around for 10 hours, with 1 hour of all-out movement.”
“I guess I never thought about it that way but, when I’m at work, I have to get my job done,” replied Tracy. “I don’t think my principal would like me going on 10-minute walks, several times a day, leaving my kids unsupervised.”
“Of course, and that is the case with everyone’s job,” answered TJ. “There are certain restrictions, but we also know from research that movement actually improves our mental functioning. Just a few minutes of movement can significantly activate our brains so is there a way to interject some fun activities into your classroom? It would help you reach your goals and also help your students increase their activity levels, even their mental performance.”
“That’s an interesting idea,” said Tracy, nodding her head. “But, with all this talk about complexity and levels, I think I need to learn more before taking on that challenge.”
After Tracy completed her program for the day, she realized that TJ had the different components of aerobic, strength, and flexibility built in and even had a couple of functional movements added in. She thought about the simplicity of some of the exercises and the ones that actually ‘felt good.’ Maybe, there were some she could incorporate, while teaching. She realized there was a lot more to learn.
"Healthy Family Evolution: Mom's Strong!" is available at all TERRIO Therapy locations and on Amazon. Also, check out www.myTERRIO.com for more information about our comprehensive wellness program for all abilities and ages.