I mentioned last week that I’m prepping for my ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) exam.
Several weeks ago I reached out to some friends who work in the fitness field and I asked what they considered to be the best personal training certification.The overwhelming answer? “ACSM, but it is the hardest exam.” Apparently, ACSM sets the standard for the rest of the industry so their test is more comprehensive, and as a result it is also more credible. I have a passion for encouraging others to lead a healthy lifestyle and I have a genuine interest in learning more about the human body, so after some thought and research I determined the ACSM was worth a try. I feel like I’m back in college between studying to keep abreast of all the changes for my day job + studying for the ACSM.
Luckily, I find most of the stuff regarding the ACSM to be fascinating. I would be lying if I said it all interests me though. For example, I found the section on arteriovenous oxygen difference to be less than stimulating (←no clue what I just said).
I won’t bore you with everything I’m learning, but I do want to share a few interesting facts with you.
- A person could be at a normal ‘healthy’ weight, but still possess an unhealthy amount of fat. In addition, people who carry most of their fat in their abdominal region are more inclined to suffer health issues related to obesity.
- Physical activity (i.e. walking to work, taking the stairs, mowing the yard, playing soccer with the kids,etc) could lead to more weight loss over time than exercise (running, elliptical, weight training, etc). This is in part because physical activities tend to get ingrained into our lifestyles, whereas exercise can sometimes fall to the wayside.
- Studies show that approximately 20% of gym-goers don’t workout at the intensity level required to make any real fitness changes. *ahem* I’m looking at all those people out there who read magazines on the elliptical! Kidding! That said, any exercise is better than no exercise so more power to you for getting up and moving at all! 🙂
- 80% of the population knows they should exercise. Only 25% of the population consistently exercises. Yes – you read that right. CRAZY!
- We don’t use protein for energy. The body prefers to use carbs/fat because that’s easier to convert to energy. However, muscle fibers are made of protein so if you’re trying to build muscle then do as the cows say and ‘eat more chicken.’
- The average person is dehydrated. A general rule of thumb is to drink 2 cups of water 2 hours before working out and drink during exercise at a rate that matches sweat loss. Beware of overloading on drinks like Gatorade because those products contain a lot of salt, which you may or may not need, depending on your level of exercise.
Pretty fascinating stuff, right?
On an unrelated note, I was reminded by my 8 year old neighbor that tomorrow is Halloween. How did I almost miss this holiday?