My name is Ibi and I am a physician who focuses on improving the function of my patients.  We call ourselves Physiatrist (pronounced physi-a- trist or physi-at rist.) The word physiatrist comes from the Greek word “physis” which means NATURE or in some iterations GROW. So why do I start my blog with some etymology?  Here it is! One of my duties as a physiatrist is in essence to improve the physical nature and growth of the people I serve and add quality to their lives. In this blog I hope to limit the scientific and medical Jargon and have candid and fun discussions that will help us achieve an ALLFIT lifestyle.

So what better way to kick off this wonderful adventure with you than to talk about what fitness really means?

Physical fitness as defined by American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is “the ability to perform or carry out daily activities with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue and with ample energy to enjoy leisure pursuits and to meet unforeseen emergencies. It encompasses measurable health and skilled related attributes that include cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, balance, agility, reaction time and power.”1 Doesn’t this definition want to make you get off that chair, couch or cellphone and run to your  gym,  pump some weights, top it all off with  bursts of body pump or zumba then cool off with stretches and  yoga? Namasté!  You look good and feel good and perhaps you now have the added advantage of being able to meet unforeseen emergency with a brisk fight or flight response. Well, maybe not so dramatic but you get my point.

So what is all the fuss about?

The father of western medicine, Hippocrates (460-370 BC) said, “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” In 2011 the largest organization of sports medicine and exercise science ACSM tried to answer the question Hippocrates posed thousands of years prior.

ACSM recommends that most adults do moderate intensity cardiorespiratory exercise for 30minutes or more for at least 5 days a week for a total of at least 150mins per week

Or

Vigorous intensity exercises for 20minutes or more for at least 3 days a week for a total of at least 75mins per week

Or

A combination of moderate and vigorous intensity exercises to achieve a total energy expenditure of at least 500-1000mets/min/week  

So what exactly does this all mean to you?

Have you ever been to the gym and left without breaking a sweat? Have you ever been working out and talk on your cellphone at the same time without difficulty? Or perhaps you do not sweat a lot but feel like you just don’t really exert yourself?

Your moderate intensity exercise is the level of vigor needed to break a sweat. A good measure is to try singing the words of your favorite song while doing your workout. If you are not able to hit the keys like you do in the shower then you have approached moderate intensity exercise. As you ramp up the intensity you start to breathe faster. Perhaps you can no longer talk to your gym buddy about the next movie you want to watch and your heart begins to beat faster and faster until your fitness tracker says you are approaching near maximum heart rate (220- age). You are now in vigorous intensity zone. For an in depth discussions on  METs, heart rate and gadgets look out for my #allfitmdmathematics and #allfitmdgadgets blog posts.

I start with a #presciptionforfitness because with the dynamic lives we live today, time is a precious commodity so knowing the minimums of quantity and quality of exercise can help us achieve our goals. I know we all have varying reasons why we want to get fit. Maybe you want to look chiseled, perhaps fit into that beautiful wedding dress, shed some weight to get off the diabetes wagon or complete that half marathon to support childhood cancer. It all starts here and it is achievable; 150mins per week or even 75 mins per week to maintain cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal and neuromotor fitness. Remember your vigorous intensity today can become your moderate intensity tomorrow.

Until next time folks. Live happy and healthy, live fit.