Title: Physical Activity Recommendations: How Much Exercise Do You Need?
Subtitle: The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention shares guidelines for adults to improve heart health and overall well-being.
In an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidelines on physical activity. According to the CDC, adults aged 18-64 should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. Additionally, two days of muscle-strengthening exercises are recommended for this age group.
For adults over the age of 65, the CDC advises including activities that improve balance in their exercise routine. Pregnant and postpartum women, on the other hand, should focus on moderate-intensity activity without muscle-strengthening or balance work. While the duration and intensity of exercise are crucial for heart health, it is important to note that shorter exercise stints can still provide overall health benefits.
Regular exercise has been proven to have several positive effects on the body. Studies show that it reduces the risk of developing diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers, as well as strengthens bones and muscles. Furthermore, engaging in physical activity has been linked to an increased lifespan.
Moderate-intensity activities, such as water aerobics, biking on level ground, playing doubles tennis, and pushing a lawn mower, are excellent choices for those looking to meet the recommended guidelines. For individuals seeking a more vigorous workout, options like jogging or running, swimming laps, biking fast or on hills, playing singles tennis, and playing basketball can help achieve the desired results.
Among the various activities, walking proves to be a popular choice for many individuals. In fact, walking at a moderate pace that makes you slightly out of breath but still able to hold a conversation is considered a moderate-level exercise. Even leisurely walking can be beneficial, serving as a stepping stone into a more regular exercise routine. Those seeking to increase their walking intensity can try “speed play” by briskly walking for short intervals.
It is important to highlight that any level of physical activity, even if it falls below the recommended amount of time per week, can be beneficial. The consensus among experts is that some exercise is better than none, but engaging in higher levels of physical activity is even more beneficial.
If you’re new to exercise or have been leading a sedentary lifestyle, it’s good to start gradually. Even just five to ten minutes of exercise daily can produce significant benefits. The key is to find an activity that you enjoy and can sustain in the long term.
The CDC’s physical activity guidelines serve as a valuable resource for individuals looking to improve their health and well-being. By incorporating exercise into our daily routines, we can take proactive steps towards a happier, healthier future. Remember, every step counts!