2017 Activity Challenge

We as Americans have a pandemic on our hands. It’s been happening for about three decades now as we as a nation have gotten out of shape or otherwise less fit than a human should be. As a nation we are less active and as a consequence weigh more than we did 30 years ago and it’s not just the natural progression of aging. Here are some stats:

The overall age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in U.S adults from 2013-2014 was 37.7% (Flegal, Kruszon-Moran, Carrol, Fryar, & Ogden, 2016). Put another way, regardless of age if we look at all adults from age 18 and up then ~4 out of 10 would be obese. Obesity is defined by the Center for Disease Controls (CDC) as those individuals having a BMI of 30.0 or higher. Also, keep in mind that this statistic does not include those adults who are just overweight which is defined as having a BMI of 25.0 to <30.

To kill the elephant in the room, yes, BMI is arguably not a good indicator of health for individuals with a lot of extra muscle mass, however, I don’t go to the mall, the grocery, or my kids’ school and see a bunch of bodybuilders walking around feeling bad that their BMI says their “obese.”

So let’s get to it. The 2017 activity challenge!

I have a bad habit of wanting to do something for everyone and you, my followers, reap the benefits! What can I say except, you’re welcome.

First this is for my peeps who want to work on their overall health. If you’re just getting started in the fitness game or want to add to your overall fitness then your goals are as follows:

Weekly:

  • 3 hours of:
    • moderate intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) per week
    • Be sure to do a warm-up and cool down for each session, but remember the warm-up and cool down does not count toward the 3 hours of  moderate activity
  • Also, 2 or more days per week of strength training that works all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
    • A full body strength training session should take at least 1 hour. Try for 3 sets of 10 repetitions per major muscle group as listed above.
  • The totals:
    • 3 hours of moderate aerobic activity per week plus two 1-hour strength training sessions equals out to 260 hours of activity for the year.

Alternatively, my first time fitness freaks can do:

  • 2 hours of vigorous intensity aerobic activity (running or jogging) per week
    • Be sure to do a warm-up and cool down for each session, but remember the warm-up and cool down does not count toward the 2 hours of  vigorous activity
  • Also, 2 or more days per week of strength training that that works all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
    • A full body strength training session should take at least 1 hour. Try for 3 sets of 10 repetitions per major muscle group as listed above.
  • The totals:
    • 2 hours of vigorous aerobic activity per week plus two 1-hour strength training sessions equals out to 156 hours of activity for the year.

For the raw runners who want to be pushed for 365 days. Welcome to 2017 grind!

Runners, get seeeeet!

Your mileage goal is 2017 +1 mile to grow on for the next year. Here’s the break down.

  • That’s ~5.6 miles per day on average
  • Or, that’s ~39 miles per week on average
  • Also, you need strength training to maintain that weekly mileage so, 2 or more days per week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms)
  • One other suggestion: Add a cross training you love to do.  For me it’s spin class. If you like swimming then go for it. If it’s hitting the heavy bag, fine, but choose something to support your running besides just more running from the cardiovascular standpoint.

I want to remind everyone to be safe when it comes to challenges and do not get involved with too many challenges at once. It’s really easy to get to a state of over training so make sure that after you hit it hard on the road, trail, or in the gym or pool that you take a rest day and get some sleep. Also, as I always say, “You can’t outrun your fork.” so make sure that your diet and nutrition supports the activity and the challenges you undertake this year.

screenshot-2017-01-01-12-52-04

Always Training,

Brian

3 thoughts on “2017 Activity Challenge”

    1. The 3 sessions of cardio and the 2 sessions for strength is just above the minimum weekly activity recommended by the CDC. If you need ideas for specific exercises I also have a Facebook page you can follow for ideas and motivation. Good luck on the challenge!

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