Do You Need More Physical Activity

Less than half of all adults get the recommended amount of physical activity. Read this to see what the guidelines are and where you fit in. See below for examples of the recommended amount.

  • Adults need at least 2 and 1/2 hours (150 minutes) a week of aerobic physical activity. This should be at a moderate level, such as a fast-paced walk for no less than 10 minutes at a time.
  • Inactive adults have higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
  • Regular physical activity helps people get and keep a healthy weight.

Myth: I have to do 30 minutes at a time to make any improvements.
Fact:   10 minutes at a time is fine.

We know 150 minutes each week sounds like a lot of time, but it’s really not. That’s just 2 hours and 30 minutes, about the same amount of time you might spend watching a movie.

The good news is that you can spread your activity out during the week, so you don’t have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day.

It’s about what works best for you, as long as you’re doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.

How can you get the physical activity you need?

You’ll be surprised by the variety of activities you have to choose from. To meet the guidelines for aerobic activity, basically anything counts, as long as it’s done at a moderate- or vigorous-intensity for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Example 1: Moderate Intensity Activity and Muscle Strengthening Activity
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
30 minute brisk walk
walking
30 minute brisk walk
walking
30 minute brisk walk
walking
Weight training
30 minute brisk walk
walking
30 minute brisk walk
walking
Weight training
Total: 150 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic activity
+ 2 days muscle-strengthening activity
Example 2: Vigorous Intensity Activity and Muscle Strengthening Activity
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
25 minute jog
jogging
25 minute jog
and weight training
jogging
Weight training
25 minute jog
jogging
Total: 75 minutes vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
+ 2 days muscle-strengthening activity
Example 3: Mix of Moderate & Vigorous Intensity Activity and Muscle Strengthening Activity
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
30 minute brisk walk
walking
15 minute jog
jogging
Weight training
30 minute brisk walk
walking
Weight training
15 minute jog
jogging
30 minute brisk walk
walking
Total: The equivalent of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity
+ 2 days muscle-strengthening activity

When to Check With Your Doctor

Doing activity that requires moderate effort is safe for most people, but if you have a chronic health condition such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes or other symptoms be sure to talk with your doctor about the type and amount of physical activity that;s right for you.

Feature image courtesy photos-public-domain.com
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Author: Joan E Wilder

We are focused on providing information about the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

One thought

  1. Hi Gary, Are you commenting from the email you receive? The comment comes out terribly on the site – not all characters are ‘seen’… Let me know if you are available next week for me to stop by so I can see what’s going on… thanks again for all your help!

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