How to Exercise For Better Health & Wellness:

For Men & Women

Modest increments of exercise are associated with lower mortality. An increase of 1 MET (the measurement of activity that occurs while just sitting) lowers mortality risk by 20%. The reverse, sadly, is also true. Physical inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle have been shown to increase the risk of all-cause mortality by 50%.

Exercise is also positively associated with improved men’s and women’s sexual health and wellness, better quality sleep, and lower risks of a range of chronic diseases. Regular fitness and a robust exercise regime together with good nutrition, which may include personalized vitamins and supplements, forms a foundation for longevity.

The types of exercise you should get:

Exercise can be divided into four  general categories. As functional medicine doctors Malaysia, we recommend one gets a good balance of all four types  in order to enjoy holistic benefits.

  1. Aerobic (Cardiorespiratory Endurance) Exercise. 

It is recommended you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week.

  • Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, slowly paced swimming and climbing stairs.
  • Vigorous aerobic exercise includes activities such as running, cycling and aerobic dancing

2. Strength and Resistance Exercise. 

Perform strength and resistance training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week.  Start by aiming to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.  As you improve your strength, work up to three sets of each exercise.

3. Flexibility Exercise.

Greater range of motion in our joints is the desired goal of flexibility.  It can be improved acutely and chronically following flexibility exercises. Flexibility exercises are most effective when the muscles are warm and may result in injury if done when muscles are cold.  These exercises have also been shown to acutely reduce power and strength.  For this reason, it is recommended that flexibility exercises be performed after exercise and sports where strength and power are important for performance.  Flexibility exercise should target the major muscle tendon units of the neck, shoulders, chest, torso, lower back, hips, posterior and anterior legs, and ankles.

4. Neuromotor Exercise. 

Neuromotor exercise training involves complex skills such as balance, coordination and proprioceptive training.  It is related to the recent trend in functional fitness training. Neuromotor exercise involves several combinations of neuromotor exercise, resistance exercise, and flexibility exercise and include physical activities such as tai chi, qigong, and yoga.

These exercises are recommended three days a week, especially for older individuals with a higher risk of potential falls.  The optimal duration or number of repetitions of these exercises is not known, but neuromotor exercise routines of 20–30 min in duration for a total of 60 min of neuromotor exercise per week are very effective.

ACSM and CDC recommendations state that:

  • All healthy adults aged 18–65 years should participate in moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on five days per week, or vigorous intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on three days per week.
  • Every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance for a minimum of two days per week.

As functional medicine doctors in Malaysia, we can help point you in the right direction if you are looking to kickstart your health and wellness journey.

References

1. Making sense of modifiable personal lifestyle factors by New England Center of functional medicine

2. Physical activity guideline by ACSM

Functional medicine Malaysia doctor

Author:
Dr. Shirley Koeh
Date:
04 April 2023

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