Le Fer Hall

The importance of staying active: Q&A with Tricia Pierce, DHSc, ACSM-CEP

Blog | 06.21.2022

What does it mean to truly be active?

Tricia Pierce, DHSc, ACSM-CEP, assistant professor of exercise science

The meaning of being active is doing ALL the activities you wish to do without pain or discomfort. At times you might experience this but the goal of living active is to heal joint and muscle pain, so most days are pain free.

Why is it important to be active in some way?

Our bodies are movement based: the only way for our body systems, i.e. cardiovascular, pulmonary, digestion to work is when our body is moving. Therefore, movement is vital to our existence. Any movement helps! Universally, walking is the best medicine someone can take!

What are some simple ways to stay active?

Walking is truly the best. It is weight bearing, so good for the bones and muscles. Start with 10 minutes a day, then 10 minutes twice a day. Work up to 30 minutes a day. If you are truly looking for weight loss, your end goal would be 60 minutes of walking a day, which can be split throughout the day.

How can this benefit your health and lifestyle?

Science is learning new things everyday about the importance of movement, for example we now understand that the brain goes through neuroplasticity or generation of new cells when we exercise. So, the more movement you do the better your brain health will be, which contributes to decreases in depression and anxiety and increases in creativity.

What are some tips you would give to someone who might be a beginner in exercising?

Get some cool apps that encourage you to exercise. For example: mapmywalk. You can see your route, time and calories. FitOn is a nice fitness app – it has at-home workouts based on time and type of workout. Both are free.

How long should one exercise and how often should they be active?

Start with 10 minutes 3 times per week. Add in from there. Get something in everyday – walking, biking, gardening, housework, etc.

Temperatures can often cause heat exhaustion, fatigue and dehydration – what are some tips you have to prevent this?

When the temperature is over 80 degrees, watch for heat related illness. Always have cold water available. Pack a cooler. Have ice available to put on your pulse points (temples, wrists, arm pits) to immediately cool down the body. Drink at least 20 ounces of water per hour of exercise. Gatorade will help with extended periods of activity, those lasting longer than 60 minutes.

If someone wants to increase their level of activity during the summer, what are the best ways to do that?

Set a workout schedule. Make a calendar, cross off the days you did it! Keep a workout journal, have a workout buddy, hold yourself accountable.

What are some tips you have to prevent burnout or injury from being active?

Slow and steady. The advertisements are NOT true. You will not get abs overnight, nor will you lose 10 pounds overnight. There are no quick fixes. It takes as long as it takes! Behavior change is hard, don’t give up. If you stop, get started again. Keep choosing active. Aim for 1% better each day.

Are there any other tips that you have for staying active and the importance of it?

Being active allows you to live your best life. Mentally, physically, and all around. It is essential to vitally.

What are some ways that students can stay active on campus?

Campus offers many ways to be active, such as walking, biking, running, intramural sports like basketball, volleyball and more to come!!

1 Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sharon Brown | 06.26.2022 at 10:51am
Great to know! Thanks for sharing to help others!