Ester Marsh column — Regular exercise routine

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 9, 2020

Have you been able to get in a regular exercise routine?

Having phase 2 extended for another five weeks is absolutely challenging. We finally have been able to open our indoor fitness centers for the purpose of serving members as prescribed or directed by a medical professional, in accordance with the governor’s executive order 151 and meeting all requirements of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

So we are slowly getting some traffic in the fitness center and I am stoked! I have a deep belief that exercise is absolutely essential, not only for our bodies but also our mind and spirit. And yes, safety is always first. We are social distancing and cleaning everything after each use.

Not everyone is ready to come inside, even if prescribed by a doctor, and that is OK. The main objective is that we need to get or keep our bodies as healthy as possible whether its exercising inside or outside.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate to intensity of aerobic training five days a week or 150 minutes per week.

Resistance exercise: adults should train each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment. After initial beginning phase of one set of 8-20 reps, work up to two to four sets of each exercise anywhere between 8-20 reps. Make sure to give your body 48 hours of rest between working the muscle groups, so every other day if recommended.

Flexibility exercise: Stretch at least two to three days a week to improve range of motion. Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds to the point of slight discomfort (not pain). Repeat each stretch two to four times accumulating 60 seconds per stretch.

Neurometer exercise (functional fitness training): two to three days per week. Exercises should involve motor skills such as balance, agility, coordination and gate. Proprioceptive exercise training (the sense of self movement and body position), and multifaceted activities, (such as yoga), to improve physical function and prevent falls in older adults. Do between 20-30 minutes per day for neuromotor exercise.

In the following weeks, I will focus and give examples on one component starting with resistance training next Sunday.

Until then, move your body, stay connected, stay safe!

Ester Hoeben Marsh is health and fitness director of the JF Hurley family YMCA.