Recipe for a Healthy Lifestyle in 2021

 

The staff at Mountain View Therapy want to wish our community a happy and healthy New Year. One thing this past year has taught us – health matters.

We want to highlight these important components of wellness for our community as we begin 2021.

“You are never too out of shape, too overweight, or too old to make healthy changes.”

– National Institutes of Health

 

A Study by Harvard found that keeping these 5 healthy habits can extend a person’s life by 12-14 years.

  1. Don’t smoke.
  2. Exercise regularly. The FITT protocol from the American College of Sports Medicine described below gives good guidelines for how to exercise.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight, defined as a BMI of 18.5-24.9.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Think about eating food close to nature, not too much, mostly plants, and raised close to home. (See the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate for detailed diet recommendations for kids and adults at www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource)
  5. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation, defined as one drink per day for women and two for men.

Three very important additional components of wellness not included in the study are:

  • Getting quality sleep and enough sleep
  • Managing stress in one’s life
  • Maintaining an active social life

So, how should we exercise?

The American College of Sports Medicine developed the FITT protocol as a good recipe for success. These are the four elements you need to think about to create workouts.

  • Frequency: Adults should exercise 3-5 days per week. Children should be physically active daily.
  • Intensity: The ACSM recommends moderate-intensity exercise, which means that your heart is beating faster than normal, you can still converse but will be breathing heavier, and you should start to sweat. It is defined as 40%-60% of heart rate max which is determined by age. During vigorous activity (60%-80% heart rate max), your heart is beating much faster, you are sweating, and you have difficulty carrying a conversation without pausing to breathe.
  • Time: Adults should participate in at least 150 minutes total per week of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Children and teens should target 60 minutes daily. Sessions as short as 10 minutes can contribute to the weekly total.
  • Type: Choose activities that are appropriate to your fitness level, enjoyable, easy to access, not painful, and that you are likely to be consistent with.
    • Moderate exercise – brisk walking, riding a bike on flat trails, pickleball, performing continuous yard work or gardening, aqua aerobics.
    • Vigorous exercise – running/jogging, swimming laps, biking hilly terrain, or playing basketball.

Regular physical activity has been shown to prevent early death and improve/prevent health conditions such as low back pain, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.  If you have underlying health conditions, ask your health care provider if you are safe to exercise and seek professional guidance prior to starting a new activity. When starting new exercises, a great motto is “start low, and go slow.”

The staff at Mountain View Therapy are passionate about healing and promoting healthy lifestyle habits around exercise. We are ready to help you break down barriers to getting active and improving your health in 2021.

For more information, contact us at 970-240-7369