Monday, September 23, 2013

How Often Should We Work Out?

We all know it is important to be active...but how active should we be to stay healthy? The Department of Health & Human Services recommends both kids and adults to engage in an hour or more of physical activity each day.

For significant health benefits the guidelines are:
  • 150 minutes of moderate-intense exercise each week
    • Translation: 30 minutes 5 days a week
  • 75 minutes of vigorous-intense exercise
    • Translation: 25 minutes 3 days a week
And for additional health benefits.....
  • 300 minutes of moderate-intense exercise
  • 150 minutes of vigorous-intense exercise a week

Ideally exercise should include aerobic conditioning and muscular strength to help form a strong cardiovascular system, strong skeletal muscular system, and promote strong bones. Even people who cannot sustain the recommended guidelines can experience health benefits by staying as physically active as their conditions allow.

So what counts as moderate-intense and vigorous intense exercise?

Moderate-Intense Exercise (breathing increases, you can talk easily to your friends but would not be able to sing, you develop a light sweat after several minutes)
  • Dancing
  • Fast paced walking
  • Moving the lawn
  • Gardening
  • Housework/Building
  • Leisurely Swimming
  • Moderate Lifting

Vigorous-Intense Exercise (breathing is quick and deep, you can say only a few words at a time before needing a breath, you start sweating after a few short minutes)
  • Running
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Cycling
  • Fast Swimming
  • Competitive Sports
  • Shoveling Snow
  • Heavy Lifting
Adults and children can make small steps to achieve the physical activity guidelines. Start by setting goals that are appropriate for your current fitness level. Meet with your doctor and make sure it is safe for you to exercise. Increase your activity level slowly and gradually. Keep well hydrated during exercise. And most important of all....have fun!

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