Exercise Magic Unveiled: What Is The Right Amount of Exercise?

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Last updated on December 28, 2022

Did you know that exercise holds some magic? I’m a fitness trainer and former registered nurse who has been looking for magic herself for over 2 decades. Depending on your current fitness level and goals the magic I speak of may be easier than you think. When talking about movement I often get asked: “What are the best exercises?” Followed up with more questions about how hard they are and how often they need to be done.  All great questions, but please keep in mind that the answers depend on you. Your goals and current fitness level determine the answer to where the magic lies for you. Training with certified fitness professionals will get you the answers and results you are looking for. 

Your fitness can be improved with simple exercises, that done with some consistency can significantly improve your overall health. The magic can be found in consistency, intensity and volume. There’s more good news: Bringing the magic to you has never been easier. 

In their article: Inflammation: Obesity, Diabetes, Aging and Exercise, the authors Len Kravitz, Gabriella Bellissimo, and Jessica Smith look at how regular exercise works to protect against chronic diseases associated with inflammation. Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and Diabesity are all interrelated with inflammation and there is good news here for those of us promoting exercise in the right dosage for improving health. The right dosage (Total exercise volume.) means not too much and not too little - it’s where the magic lies for building you up versus breaking you down. There is often a disparity in the volume of exercise you need and the volume of exercise you are getting that is keeping you from finding your magic.

We need our health to function to the best of our abilities.  Your fitness level is something that you are in control of.  Are you building yourself up or breaking down with the amount of exercise you are getting?

 - Sheila

Founder of Movement Garden & Personal Trainer

Measuring Results

The volume of exercise can be measured in many ways. One can get very technical these days with the tracking technology that is available. The art and science of too much or too little can be overwritten with the data you collect on your smartphone, watch or ring. We can use the data to teach us about our body’s response to how we are treating it: Eat, work, exercise, stress management, sleep, repeat. We can also just listen to our sense of how we are feeling with everyday measures of success. I suggest this is an easier way of looking for the magic because it takes less time and money and takes us away from electronics. I believe reducing the amount of time spent on or around electronics is good for our health and it's something I'm trying to do myself.

Everyday measures of success: 

  • How’s your mood? Is your glass half full or empty today?
  • How’s your sleep? Did you get 7-9 hours in?
  • How about those bowel movements? Regular stool perfection? 
  • How are your clothes fitting? 
  • How does your body/energy level feel today?

I was recently reminded of what not feeling healthy is like. I got knocked off my feet (literally) with the flu. I consider myself to be pretty strong but I was no measure against whatever it was that swiftly and virulently shut me down. My point here is to be prepared, as I believe that others not as strong as I am could have had a worse course, perhaps with longer lasting ill effects. Investing in your fitness: it’s like an insurance policy for the future. The tag line on emails from my insurance agent has the same theme: Luck has its storms so be prepared!  

Question: How do you prepare your health for the future?  

Answer: You build a stronger version of you.

 - Sheila

Founder of Movement Garden & Personal Trainer

How Much Exercise do you Need?

The exercise you do is relative to your current fitness level and is not “no-pain-no gain”, or anything even close. A little too much of a good thing can cause problems as well. “Strenuous exercise leads to greater oxidative stress and thus enhances the inflammatory responses of the body.” - From: Inflammation: Obesity, Diabetes, Aging and Exercise

The volume of training should be modified based on your goals, interests, and the time you make available to dedicate to your health. These are all considerations in making a plan that builds your fitness up from your current fitness level. I like to think that time spent moving is non-negotiable. There has to be some in your daily routine.

Moderate exercise intensity is the recommendation for combating inflammation from the article I mention. Are you close to these recommendations? They are under what I hope most folks do but can be used as a starting point.

  • 45 min 2 to 3 days a week of aerobic exercise
  • 3 - 5 sets of 10 repetitions of resistance 2 to 3 days a week

(Coincidentally, this can be achieved by regularly attending my classes!)

Where do you do this? 

One thing is for sure - you don’t need a gym. Home training might not be for everyone, but exercise should be. If you are not moving forward, or at least holding your own with your fitness then I invite you to consider the future and the risks that inactivity brings. It’s possible to get quite a lot done in the comfort of your own home thanks to technology. I have come to respect the virtual Zoom environment as a means of easily accessing a fitness coach who wants to help you build a stronger version of yourself. A lot can be done with little or no equipment, and a small investment in some weights and bands opens the options for your exercise selection immensely. 

A future where we improve our mobility, strength, balance and health sounds good doesn’t it? This is entirely possible, and it’s a vision I wholeheartedly encourage you to consider. This isn’t just for older adults. I see more younger people with fitness and health challenges than ever before. We need to make this a priority for all ages, including our children.

I feel another call to action when I think of the children. We need to be healthy role models. We have the knowledge to change our health outcomes and yet for many reasons that knowledge is not shared or enjoyed by the general population. It simply starts with you taking one step at a time, one day at a time.

38 million of the world’s children under age 5 were obese or overweight in 2019 (WHO 2020a).   From: Inflammation: Obesity, Diabetes, Aging and Exercise

 - Sheila

Founder of Movement Garden & Personal Trainer

Some folks never stopped going to a gym through the pandemic; some did and have now returned. Whether you see yourself as a person who will go to the gym in the future or not, I ask you to consider at least one hour of online training per week as part of your overall plan. Let fitness professionals help you achieve the exercise levels currently recommended for health, and more by including your history and goals in your overall plan. That’s our passion, that’s our job! 

The value of your time counts in respect to your long term health outcomes. The ability to access the basics needed to build a foundation of strength can be achieved at home. It’s easier than you think.

Be part of your own fitness and health solution. It’s never too late to change and reprioritize a little of your time to feel the magic.

Join our complimentary classes as a way to get started and learn about movement improvement. We can help you move better. There is no obligation to join our paid classes….ever! 

Grow Your Strength at the Sheila Hamilton Movement Garden. 


https://www.ideafit.com/personal-training/inflammation-obesity-diabetes-aging-and-exercise/ (-1) 

 Farag & Gaballa 2011  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21045078/


Physical Inactivity 

( 3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7246646/

A former Registered Nurse turned Personal Trainer, Sheila has dedicated herself to the ongoing learning of being a fitness professional. Making fitness a lifestyle and supporting her clients through the changes needed to reach their goals is her purpose and passion. Certified with many organizations Sheila has a special interest in the practice of kettlebell training.

  • Great blog, Sheila! I used to think it wasn’t a worthwhile training session unless I was gasping and exhausted at the end. I now know, through your example, how powerful a moderate program can be. And, it is so much easier to stick to as well! Win-win!

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