On average, only 23 percent of adults in the U.S meet federal guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening leisure-time activity, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Health Statistics Report. In Wisconsin, 21 percent of women surveyed reported meeting the guidelines, compared with 26 percent of men.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services federal physical activity guidelines recommend that adults engage in weightlifting or other muscle-strengthening exercise at least twice a week, plus either vigorous aerobic activity, such as running, at least 75 minutes a week, or moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, at least 150 minutes a week.
At ProHealth West Wood Health & Fitness Center, program manager Lori Schultz and fitness coordinator Anne Barber said that although people join West Wood for the purpose of exercising individually, in classes or with personal trainers, members still report obstacles to getting enough exercise and managing their weight.
“Finding enough time to exercise is an issue,” Schultz said. “Even when people exercise, ongoing stress can trigger release of the hormone cortisol, which leads to feelings of hunger and overeating.”
“Due to hectic schedules and life demands, lack of time and stress are especially significant for women,” Barber said. “Women can also be unsure of how to start a weight training program, which is so important for bone and muscle strength.”
Adults need to exercise vigorously enough to reach a target heart rate of 50 to 85 percent of their maximum heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, she said. Individuals may be meeting guidelines for exercise time but are not elevating their heart rates enough to maximize their workouts and to burn enough calories to offset calorie intake.
At West Wood, personal trainers assess individual exercise and strength-training needs, tailor programs for people to reach their goals safely, demonstrate the use of exercise equipment and weights to prevent injury, ensure exercise effectiveness and discuss ways to improve diet and nutrition.
Schultz and Barber recommend that everyone adopt the following regular habits for exercise and nutrition:
Walk at every possible opportunity.
Get outside and engage in a variety of activities with friends and family.
Exercise at a fitness center two or more times a week and take advantage of the classes, personal training, gyms, pools and facilities.
Plan, prepare, serve and pack meals with fresh, green ingredients.
Limit red meat and empty carbohydrates.
Snack on fruit and healthy nuts.
Learn about and track calories for a healthy weight.
Keep a food and activity log or journal.
Learn more about West Wood's programs, facilities and services by calling Anne Barber at 262-513-7209.
# # #
For more than a century, ProHealth Care has been the health care leader in Waukesha County and surrounding areas, providing outstanding care across a full spectrum of services. The people of ProHealth Care strive to continuously improve the health and well-being of the community by combining skill, compassion and innovation. The ProHealth family includes ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, ProHealth Rehabilitation Hospital of Wisconsin, ProHealth Medical Group, the UW Cancer Center at ProHealth Care, Moreland Surgery Center, ProHealth AngelsGrace Hospice, ProHealth Home Care, ProHealth West Wood Health & Fitness Center and ProHealth Regency Senior Communities. Learn more at ProHealthCare.org.