Meet the Guidelines Challenge Support

During the Challenge you will access resources from the employee well-being portal in the Wellness Initiatives 

Click here to access and print the 4-week Meet the Guidelines Challenge

Regular structured exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. Our bodies are meant to move and actually crave activity and exercise.

 

Regular exercise benefits every system in the body:

 

  • Increases physical strength

  • Improves cardiovascular health

  • Improves posture

  • Enhances memory

  • Improves mood

  • Lowers risk of a fall

  • Reduces risk of postpartum depression

  • Helps maintain a healthy weight

 

A regular structured exercise program helps you to improve your well-being. Let’s get started on a path to a healthier you by learning and implementing the guidelines for structured exercise in these areas: Cardiovascular, Strength, Flexibility, and Balance.

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Week 1: Cardiovascular Exercise

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“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement

and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” Plato

Cardiovascular activity is anything that gets the heart pumping at an elevated rate. Cardiovascular exercise burns calories and improves your overall conditioning and endurance. There are many types of cardiovascular exercise – enough to find a few that you enjoy:

 

  • Walking

  • Jogging

  • Running

  • Bike riding

  • Swimming

  • Playing sports

  • Roller skating

  • Cross country skiing

  • Dancing

  • Zumba

  • Aerobics classes

  • Jazzercise 

 

Weekly Guidelines for Cardiovascular Exercise for Adults Ages 18-64

 

  • 30 minutes/5 times/week of moderate activity (2.5 hours)

  • OR 25 minutes/3 times/week of vigorous activity (75 minutes)

  • Gain even more benefits by being active at least 5 hours per week

 

A balanced approach to structured exercise incorporates the primary types of activity including cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises. The support materials of the Meet the Guidelines Challenge focus on a specific area of structured exercise each week. This week we are focusing on Cardiovascular Exercise. Layer on a new area of exercise each week so that by week 4 you are learning to incorporate all 4 elements of structured exercise into your weekly routine. Use your Challenge Sheet to record to record your efforts to Meet the Guidelines.

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“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.” Anonymous

Week 2: Strength Training

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“Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.” Joseph Pilates

Strength or resistance exercise challenges muscles to work harder than normal. This type of exercise helps build and sustain muscle mass and can reduce or reverse loss of bone and muscle mass. Strength exercise can also improve balance and reduce falls, improve blood sugar control, aid in better sleep, and produce a healthier heart and mind. Strength exercises are a key to healthy aging, examples include:

  • Squats

  • Lunges

  • Chest press

  • Wall sit

  • Crunches

  • Hip lifts

  • Calf raises

  • Arm raises

  • Arm extensions

  • Weights

Try the Scientific 7-minute workout that combines a sequence of 12 exercises into a strength-building routine.

Weekly Guidelines for Strength Exercise for Adults Ages 18-64

 

  • 2 or more days a week working all major muscle groups

A balanced approach to structured exercise incorporates the primary types of activity including cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises. Last week, we focused on Cardiovascular Exercise, this week we are focusing on Strength Training. Keep doing your Cardiovascular Exercise and layer on Strength Training. By week 4 you will learn to incorporate all 4 elements of structured exercise into your weekly routine. Use your Challenge Sheet to record to record your efforts to Meet the Guidelines.

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“Fitness is not an option. It’s part of my job.”  Anonymous

Week 3:  Flexibility Training

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“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.” Joan Welsh

Flexibility or stretching exercises increase the range of motion of your system of joints and can overcome short-term stiffness. Stretches use muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments. This type of exercise overcomes the stiffening of muscles and tendons as we age. Stretching is also important during the day during work breaks to stretch your hands, arms, hips, and back. This helps to prevents repetitive stress injuries from computer work and prolonged sitting.

 

Weekly Guidelines for Flexibility Exercise for Adults Ages 18-64

 

  • 2 to 3 days a week (hold each exercise for 10-30 seconds on both sides)

  • Daily during work breaks for hands, arms, hips, and back

Just for fun: Challenge a family member, friend, or a work colleague to touch the floor and hold for 20 seconds.

A balanced approach to structured exercise incorporates the primary types of activity including cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises. Week 1 we focused on Cardiovascular Exercise, Week 2 we focused on Strength Training, and this week we are introducing Flexibility Training. Keep doing your Cardiovascular and Strength Training Exercises and layer on Flexibility. By week 4 you will learn to incorporate all 4 elements of structured exercise into your weekly routine. Use your Challenge Sheet to record to record your efforts to Meet the Guidelines.

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“Today I will love myself enough to exercise.” ­Anonymous

Week 4: Balance Exercise

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"Your body is never “out of shape”: it is always in a shape created by how you have moved up until this very moment.” Katy Bowman

Balance is an important exercise to add to your weekly routine. Balance improves your performance as an athlete and keeps you from falling at any age. Without proactive exercise to improve and maintain balance, both your reaction time and your ability to prevent yourself from a fall decline over time.

 

Weekly Guidelines for Balance Exercise for Adults Ages 18-64

 

  • 2 or more days a week (hold each exercise for 10-30 seconds on both sides)

 

Just for fun: Challenge a family member, friend, or a work colleague to see long you can stand on one foot.

A balanced approach to structured exercise incorporates the primary types of activity including cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises. This week we are introducing Balance Exercise. You are in the 4th week of the Meeting the Guidelines Challenge where you will incorporate all 4 elements of structured exercise into your weekly routine. Use your Challenge Sheet to record to record your efforts to Meet the Guidelines.

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Congratulations!

 

You have discovered new ways to incorporate cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises into your life in ways that Meet the Guidelines. We hope that you have learned from the Virtual Exhibit, examined your habits, read the articles and watched the videos from the employee well-being portal, and found ways to add routine structured exercise into your life. After 4 weeks, you have been challenged to meet the science-based guidelines for weekly exercise. Keep up the momentum by continuing to use the Challenge Sheet to make your new habits part of everyday living.

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“Exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant.” Anonymous

Click here to access and print the 4-week Meet the Guidelines Challenge.

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