How Your Activity Level is Impacting Your Overall Health

Post attributed to Brandon Wood, FAST Facility Manager

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Brandon Wood is the FAST Facility Manager at our Litchfield Park location and has a BS in Exercise and Wellness. He has worked with physical therapists and athletes of all levels to train individuals with a focus on on preventing and rehabilitating injuries. Today he tells us about the benefits of living an active lifestyle.

Our overall modern life activity levels have, without a doubt, changed dramatically from what they were in the past. Whether we are driving to get food, choosing to take the elevator instead of the stairs, or sitting in front of the TV for too long, we are spending less and less time engaging in physical activity. The good news is that we can greatly improve our overall health by making small changes, such as replacing a drive with a short walk or bike ride. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans are different for individuals at all stages of life. This article suggests ways to meet your unique needs at any age.

Children and Adolescents

It should come as no surprise that children and adolescents are recommended to exercise for an hour or more each and every day. For them, exercise can come in the form of a wide variety of activities that they consider to be interesting or fun, such as:

  • Hiking
  • Bike Riding
  • Jumping Rope
  • Playing Sports

Children do not have to partake in each of these different forms of activity every day, so they have the freedom to choose any activity that suits them best.


Although adults have different guidelines from those of children, they should also perform some type of exercise every week. It is recommended that adults exercise five days a week, with workouts of 30 to 60 minutes in length. Workouts can be of moderate or vigorous intensity, but I recommend a combination of both. Workouts should include aerobic, weight bearing, and flexibility exercises. Next time you are ready to hit the gym, keep these recommendations in mind:

  • Vigorous exercise should be performed for a duration of 20-60 minutes at least 3 times a week.
  • Combine moderate and vigorous exercises 3 to 5 times a week.
  • Devote a minimum of 2 days a week to muscle-strength training.
  • The most effective way to exercise the muscles is to execute multi-joint exercises, such as squats or pull-ups.

Remember, it is important to choose a schedule that works best for your daily routine so that meeting these goals will seem effortless.

Older Adults

It can be harder for older adults to get the minimum recommended amount of physical activity each week. However, older individuals should still perform as much physical activity as their bodies can handle. These activities do not have to be rigorous and can include a combination of:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Carrying Groceries

Though these activities may seem difficult, even the smallest changes, like lifting light objects around the house, can greatly improve overall health. Another great way for older people to exercise is through resistance training with TheraBands. A physical therapist or personal trainer can show you different types of exercises to perform with these bands.

Making a few daily changes can transform anyone into an active individual. Any activity is better than no activity, and it is best to stay as active as possible. Remember that individuals who are not reaching the minimum recommended amount of 150 minutes of moderate intensity level exercise each week are considered inactive. Even 30 minutes of light physical activity a day is not enough to be considered active.

Your level of activity affects your overall health, and of course it also changes your ability to maintain or lose weight. If you wish to lose weight, you simply have to expend more calories than you take in. It will also make it much easier to maintain or reach your desired weight if you reach the recommended amount of physical exercise each week. There are many different diet plans available to the public, but no one plan is right for everyone. Watching what you eat and cutting out unnecessary pleasure foods can be a great start. Creating a plan that is right for you will be a huge help in achieving your goals and the experts at FAST can create a training program that is right for you.

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).