How Much Exercise do You Really Need?
Boot camps, HIT, Yoga, running; So many exercises and so confusing as to what is the best for you. Some are extremely intense, and some are so minimal that they sound too good to be true.
The current government recommendations for exercise in an adult are:
2 ½ hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity combined with 2 or more days of general muscle strengthening exercises WEEKLY —-OR—-
1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity weekly combined with 2 or more days of general muscle strengthening exercises WEEKLY
“A new study finds that people who run as little as once a week have a lower risk of early death compared with people who don’t run at all. In fact, any amount of running was associated with a 27 percent lower risk of premature death. And researchers found no evidence that running more alters that number significantly, according to a new meta-analysis published November 4 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.” https://www.sciencenews.org/article/running-just-once-week-may-help-you-avoid-early-death
So, what defines moderate vs. vigorous activity?
Some examples of moderate activity: walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on a flat surface, and pushing a lawn mower. You can talk while you are participating but it’s not easy.
Some examples of vigorous activity: Jogging or running, swimming, riding a bike fast or on hills, and playing hockey or basketball. During vigorous activity, you should not be able to say more than a few words without stopping to take a breath.
Recently it has become popular to join certain types of classes such as boot camps and HIT classes. These classes are based on high intensity exercise in mostly 30 minute intervals that work the whole body and keep the heart rate elevated. They are not for the weak of heart but do an excellent job of combining weight training and aerobics.
Yoga is another exercise that treats multiple systems. It add strength and flexibility to the body while calming the mind and decreasing stress.
The reality is that not everyone has the time to exercise on a regular basis. Fitting it in after a day of work can be exhausting. Add family, household chores, and other commitments sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done.
We need to realize that some REGULAR exercise is better than nothing at all, even if it is just 10 minutes per day during your lunch break. 30 minute classes make exercise much easier to fit into a schedule. Parking far away from your work, taking the stairs and doing a couple of planks a day in your office are all positive steps. These little steps can motivate you toward big ones.
So, if you want to get healthier, go running once a week; or a walk around the block…just move!
- Pedisic Z, Shrestha N, Kovalchik S, Stamatakis E, Liangruenrom N, Grgic J, Titze S, Biddle SJ, Bauman AE, Oja P. Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2019 Nov 4; PubMed PMID: 31685526
Last modified: December 11, 2020
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