How much exercise is good enough?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) adults need the following for important health benefits:
150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as a brisk walk, water aerobics, mowing the lawn) weekly. You can get these 2 hours and 30 minutes in in 10-minute blocks of activity.
– or –
75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity( such as jogging or running, swimming laps) weekly. Again, you can add up 10-minute blocks of activity to meet the 1 hour and 15 minutes.
– or –
A mix of moderate and vigorous
Two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities a week that work all your major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms)
If you want great health benefits — do MORE (300 minutes of moderate or 150 minutes of vigorous activity).
You’ve also heard, read or been told that you should get 10,000 steps in for general health benefits and 15,000 if you want to lose weight. But where did that number come from? I thought it was a recommendation made by the American Heart Association (and they suggest a goal of 10,000 steps) but there wasn’t any scientific starting point to the number given on their website. It turns out that 10,000 steps came from a marketing campaign in Japan for a pedometer in 1964.
But the point is not get 10,000 steps or don’t bother. The focus is to wear a pedometer and get MORE steps each day. How much more? Start with a 100 more today than you got yesterday. Then add another 100 tomorrow. And if you can't do a 100 more than yesterday, then just do another 100 steps right now.
What are the health benefits? aka "why bother?"
Regular physical activity can...
Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke), lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.
Reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes or helping to control your blood glucose levels if you already have it.
Reduce your risk of some cancers — colon and breast cancer.
Strengthens your bones and muscles. Lowers your risk of hip fractures as you age. Improves your ability to manage the pain of arthritis and doing those everyday tasks.
Improve your mental health and mood, lower your risk of depression, may help you sleep better.
And more - check out the CDC's Physical Activity and Health.