Have you ever heard of RPA?
RPA is one of the most studied health interventions in the world. It is also one of the only ones recommended for people ranging from age 3 all the way to 100+. RPA’s benefits include the following:
• Provides lower risk of death from all causes and also lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and various cancers.
• Reduces the risk of dementia, anxiety, depression, and improves brain health.
• Improves quality of life, sleep, body composition, bone health, and physical function.
• Lowers the risk of falls and improves flexibility, strength, and overall wellbeing.
I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, RPA sounds too good to be true. What is it?”
RPA stands for Regular Physical Activity, and it is definitely not too good to be true. Every single benefit listed above comes with moderate-to-strong scientific evidence to back it up. It is amazing that increasing physical activity can be so beneficial across so many different areas. Exercise is such a powerful tool that it has even led the American College of Sports Medicine to create an entire program entitled “Exercise is Medicine”.
Increasing Your Activity
There are countless ways to increase your physical activity. One of the simplest approaches is to begin tracking your steps. While this isn’t an exact science, trying to reach 5,000 steps per day is a very good goal for most people. Walking as a method of aerobic fitness is one of the most natural movements a human being can do.
Despite the simplicity of walking, only 52% of adults actually reach the recommended physical activity guidelines for aerobic fitness. The Department of Health Physical Activity Guidelines suggest that 150-300 minutes of aerobic activity per week is needed to begin to notice the substantial health benefits listed above. It is also strongly recommended to perform two or more strength workouts per week.
Strength training is a very important component of exercise for health, and by far the most overlooked. In fact, only 22% of American adults reach the weekly recommendations when aerobic and strength training are both included. Simply put, the majority of adults do not strength train enough.
Adding strength training is scary for many people because they are not sure where to start. One of the best ways is by learning how to perform strength training exercises properly. It is my opinion that working with a personal trainer is the best place to start. That may sound disingenuous coming from a Fitness Director, but in reality, there is no better place to learn how to properly exercise than from someone who teaches it for a living. There is an old saying that applies here: “You pay the cost for good habits in the present. You pay the cost for bad habits in the future”.
Regardless of how you get started, the most important thing is that you do start. Adding any form of regular physical activity will improve your health and well-being. Don’t allow yourself to be one of the 36% of American adults that engage in zero leisure-time physical activity. Your body is the only place you’ll live your entire life in. Don’t get bogged down in all the details of exercise, just start moving more and then you can grow from there.
Regular physical activity has been studied for years. It is so effective at improving health and wellness that you could almost consider it a medical intervention. Some positive results of exercise can be almost instantaneous, while others occur over the years. Exercise is not magic, but it is a very powerful tool that can help you take control of your life and improve your well-being.
Choosing to be more physically active helps a majority of people to live longer lives and to avoid lifestyle-induced chronic disease. Start living your best life now. Increase your physical activity and start reaping the benefits of improved health and wellness. You are worth it!
Should you want to increase your physical activity, strength training, or cardiovascular health but do not know how, please reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you and help you get started in improving your health and well-being. Exercising should not be an intimidating or difficult journey that you take alone. The RAC offers tons of free group fitness classes; affordable one-on-one and small group training; fun sports like tennis, pickleball, swimming, and basketball - and a host of other options. Reach out and let us connect you with the right exercise options for you!
Physical Activity Guidelines. (2018). Retrieved from https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf
The Power of Physical Activity. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://exerciseismedicine.org/support_page.php/physical-activity-health-impact/
Fitness Director Steve Boring MS, BS, ISSA-CPT Certified Personal Trainer has degrees in Exercise Science and Speech Communication and is currently pursuing a PhD in Human Performance. He is a competitive Strongman and Powerlifter. He has multiple State Championships, two AAPF National Bench Press National Championships, and is the current AWPC World Bench Press Champion. Steve’s passions are centered on fitness and his love of helping people reach their goals. His door is always open to talk about fitness, health, and lifelong strength!
Contact Steve Boring at (507) 287-9312.