Yes, this is really where we play beach volleyball.

We can all agree that when it comes to physical activity, some is better than none. But once you start getting active, how much is enough?
Last week on Sunday, I played beach volleyball for 3 hours (180 minutes) and my activity tracker shows I burned 1655 calories. So I took the rest of the week off from exercise, right? (Smirk emoji)
The often-quoted Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of “moderate” intensity or 75 minutes of “vigorous” intensity exercise. There are significant problems with these guidelines – both conceptual and physiological.
Hey, I got 180 minutes on Sunday. And at least some of that was vigorous. So I’m done for the week with exercise (and I’ve got an extra 30-minutes banked for the following week, right?)
Beach volleyball is something I happily share with my stepdaughter. When you can combine a challenging physical activity you enjoy with people you love, you have reached fitness nirvana…what it really is all about. We’ll be spending Father’s Day evening playing volleyball together.
The photo above show the court we have been playing recently. We call it “Squid Game Volleyball.” There is a brick wall defining one side of the court, a drop off into the water on the other side. And at opposite ends lies shrubs. It's about as unexpected a place for a beach volleyball court as I’ve seen but somehow it works – and no one has been “eliminated” a-la Squid Game (or even injured.)
Now back to the problems with the Physical Activity Guidelines.
Conceptual Problems
Imagine if I told you that you should brush your teeth 14 times per week? Not very helpful. Why are we given weekly recommendations for a daily activity? We perform physical activity on the scale of minutes or hours. In other words, on a daily – not weekly – basis. Weekly guidelines mean we must do math (another thing many people dislike) to figure out if we satisfy them.
Further, our brains often misinterpret guidelines – which are, by design somewhat nebulous and not absolute – as rules. Thus, if we do less than ‘enough’ (erroneously interpreted as 149 minutes or less in a week) our internal ‘pass/fail’ teacher gives us a failing grade and we get down on ourselves, discouraged, and perhaps give up.
The poorly crafted messaging has resulted in people who think 150 minutes in one day is enough and then can enjoy six days off. Obviously, this is not the intention of the guidelines, nor will anyone enhance health or fitness pursuing physical activity once or twice a week and remaining inactive other days.
Breaking down the numbers, 150 minutes a week equals a little more than 21 minutes a day. And this presents another problem when we look at the guidelines through the lens of physiology.
Physiological Problem
150 minutes of walking per week reduces overall mortality rate by 7% compared with being sedentary. Walking twice as long – 42 minutes a day or 300 minutes per week – yields twice the benefit with a 14% reduction in mortality risk. (Greger, 2020) (Samitz, 2011)

Walking less – 8.5 minutes per day (60 minutes per week) – decreases mortality rate about 3%. An hour-long walk each day (360 minutes per week) may reduce mortality by 24%. (Woodcock, 2011)
When it comes to light-to-moderate physical activity, some is good and more is better. Why is the recommendation only about 20 minutes per day?
The takeaway: The 150-minutes of moderate exercise recommended in the guidelines are clearly arbitrary and chosen more as a compromise between what the science says and what the public is willing to hear.
This is not to say that since more is better no amount of exercise is enough. Using weekly guidelines for daily activities is inherently flawed and that softening the realities of the science into guidelines around minimal amounts leads many people to treat the minimum amount as if it is the optimum amount and not do one minute more. Regular exercise provides opportunities to move more and more enjoyably which naturally leads to moving more frequently.
Get moving consistently, mix different intensities with different activities, and have more active days than inactive days. Forget tracking weekly minutes of a daily activity. An essential part of doing this successfully involves choosing enjoyable activities rather than forcing yourself to do ones you do not enjoy. That can take time to figure out so stay consistent, patient, and explore what works for you.
Less counting, less tracking, less worrying if you’ve done enough. It’s time we spent less time thinking about whether we’ve done enough and more time moving more often in more enjoyable ways.

To see the references listed above, see the full post.

See previous posts on the Funtensity Blog

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Alzheimer's Fitness Specialist Course - there's nothing else like it for showing you how to apply fitness to optimize brain health. 
Strength training also lowers Alzheimer's disease risk - and it gets even better if you include some specific elements in it. Find out more...
The Alzheimer's Fitness Specialist Course is where it's at. 
Get a sweet 30% discount on this course with code ADFS30
Alzheimer's Fitness Specialist Course features...
Brain fitness integrated seamlessly with physical fitness. This is THE future of fitness training, and this course shows you how to do it and why it can make an impact on preventing or slowing Alzheimer's.
The course includes:
  • Over 11 hours of video
  • Nearly 100 exercise videos
  • 200+ page manual with expanded information
  • Interviews from people whose loved ones died from and are living with the disease as well as people who have used strategies from the course to avoid it.
This course is approved to provide continuing education credits from various education organizations (e.g., ACE, CanFitPro, ISSA, NASM, AFAA).

Get more details (and the sweet discount) here.

Free Workouts:
Foam Roller Workout - See the videos and how-to
AARP Workout - Get the infographic here
No Equipment Funtensity Workout Now Available!
Video Download $5.99

DO try this at home. Especially when you want a quick workout that is fun and free of equipment. Save a trip outside in the cold to the crowded gym. More fun than you thought possible when doing high-intensity interval training for 22-minutes.
We make your smile muscles tired. 


No equipment necessary.

But a rubber chicken is recommended. :)

Help us Find You with Hashtags

Share what you're doing with Funtensity.
Tag @funtensity in all social posts and use the hashtags:

We just might put you on the Funtensity website photo gallery and in this newsletter. 

Copyright © 2022 Jonathan Ross / Aion Fitness / Funtensity, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp