Realize the importance of engaging in physical activity and exercise for your health and well-being!
Tips for Exercise Beginners:
- Find activities you enjoy, and begin gradually!
- Speak to an exercise professional. We are happy to help!
- Follow “Physical Activity Basics” and/or the “Exercise Programming” information below.
In order to engage in a safe and effective exercise program, complete the following steps:
Complete the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire for Everyone (PAR-Q+)
The health benefits of regular physical activity are clear; more people should engage in physical activity every day of the week. Participating in physical activity is very safe for MOST people. The PAR-Q+ will tell you whether it is necessary for you to seek further advice from your doctor OR a qualified exercise professional before becoming more physically active.
General Cardiorespiratory Exercise Programming:
Frequency: For most adults, spreading the exercise sessions across 3–5 days/week may be the most conducive strategy to reach the recommended amounts of PA
Intensity: Moderate and/or vigorous-intensity or a combination
“The talk test is a simple way to measure relative intensity. In general, if you’re doing moderate-intensity activity you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. If you’re doing vigorous-intensity activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.”– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Duration: Most adults should accumulate 30–60minutes per day/week of moderate intensity exercise, 20–60 minutes per day/week of vigorous intensity exercise or a combination of moderate and vigorous intensity exercise daily to attain the recommended targeted volumes of exercise.
Activity: Aerobic exercise performed in a continuous or intermittent manner that involves major muscle groups is recommended for most adults.
Each exercise session should include a warm-up and cool-down period
General Resistance Exercise Programming:
- For novice trainers, each major muscle group should be trained at least 2 days/week.
- For experienced trainers, frequency is secondary to training volume, thus individuals can choose a weekly frequency per muscle groups based on personal preference.
- For novices, performed for 8–12 repetitions is recommended to improve muscular fitness.
- For experienced exercisers, a wide range of intensities and repetition ranges are effective dependent on the specific muscular fitness goals
Sets: 2 to 4 sets
- For older adults and deconditioned individuals, use 1 set.
Activity: Multi-joint exercises. Singles-joint exercises can be incorporated, typically after performing multi-joint exercise.
Rest Intervals: > 2 minutes between sets
- 48 hours or longer is recommended for any single muscle group
General Flexibility Exercise Programming:
Frequency: 2 to 3 sessions per week
Intensity: Stretch to tightness (not pain) at the end of the range of motion
- Holding a static stretch for 10–30s is recommended for most adults.
- In older individuals, holding a stretch for 30–60s may confer greater benefit.
Activity: Static (after exercise) or dynamic (prior to exercise) stretch all major muscle groups.
The information from the above pages was cited from: American College of Sports Medicine. G. Liguori, Y. Feito, B. Roy and C. J. Fountaine. (2021) ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. 11th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
North Carolina Wesleyan University is 1 of only 149 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise is Medicine® initiative for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Campus-wide initiatives focused on physical activity and health at the University have helped Wesleyan earn silver-level designation from the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program.
Exercise Science External Resources
- Spring 2023
- Spring 2022
- NCWU Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR)
- Spring 2021
- Spring 2020
- Spring 2019