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According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), exercise helps with disease prevention, stress management, and increases one’s physical fitness for activities of daily living, competitive athletics or recreation.

Components of a comprehensive exercise program consist of:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Cardiovascular (aerobic)
  3. Resistance (strength)
  4. Cool-down
  5. Flexibility (stretching)

Our physical activity recommendations are:

  1. Warm-up:
    • The warm-up phase should consist of a minimum of 5-10 minutes of low to moderate intensity aerobic and muscular endurance activity.
    • It should be designed to increase body temperature and reduce the potential for after-exercise soreness or muscle stiffness.
  2. Cardiovascular (aerobic):
    • Adults (18-65 years)
      • Need moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes five days per week, or vigorous activity for a minimum of 20 minutes three days per week.
      • Combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity exercise can be performed to meet this recommendation.
      • Moderate intensity aerobic activity can be accumulated toward the 30 minute minimum by performing aerobic workouts that last 10 or more minutes at a time.
    • Children/Adolescents
      • Need at least 3-4 days a week (preferably daily) of moderate to vigorous physical activity for a total of 60 minutes.
      • Activities should be enjoyable and developmentally appropriate. Activities may include walking, active play/games, dance, sports, and muscle and bone strengthening activities.
      • Effort should be made to decrease sedentary activities (i.e. watching television, playing video games, surfing the Internet) and increase activities that promote lifelong physical activity and fitness (e.g. walking, cycling and running).
  3. Resistance Training:
    • Adults
      • Every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance a minimum of two days each week.
      • Resistance training of each major muscle group (i.e. chest, back, hips, legs, abdomen, and shoulders) 2-3 days per week with at least 48 hours separating training sessions for the same muscle group.
    • Children/Adolescents
      • May safely participate in strength training activities provided that they receive proper instruction and supervision.
  4. Cool-down:
    • The cool-down phase should consist of a minimum of 5-10 minutes of low to moderate intensity aerobic and muscular endurance activity.
    • The purpose of the cool-down is to allow for gradual recovery of the heart rate and blood pressure, and the removal of metabolic end products from the muscles used.
  5. Flexibility:
    • Stretching exercises are most effective when the muscles are warm.
    • Stretching should be done before and/or after the conditioning or aerobic phase.
    • Stretching exercise program should be at least 10 minutes in duration involving all the major muscle tendon groups.
    • Four or more repetitions per muscle group are recommended.
    • Stretching should be performed at least 2-3 days a week.
    • Stretches should be held for 15-60 seconds.

Source: ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (8th edition)

Note: Please consult with your physician BEFORE engaging in any type of physical activity or new exercise program.

If you would like to begin an exercise program, CaroMont Health has a health and fitness center that offers cardio equipment, strength training equipment, wellness nurses, exercise physiologists, personal trainers, group fitness instructors and 30 weekly group exercise classes.

*On the back of a Discover YOU! ticket is a free one day pass to CaroMont’s Fitness Center.

CaroMont Health and Fitness Center
Summit Building, 660 Summit Crossing Place, Suite 302
Gastonia, NC 28052