How Much Exercise Do You REALLY Need?

January 30, 2015

Silhouette of an tired sportsman at sunset

Sue Parsley
Wellness Director @ CMC:Berkshires

At the start of every year (resolution season), gyms get busier and more people begin to focus on themselves and their health once again. Resolutions are a wonderful way to start, but how much exercise does a personally really need and why? While there are many variables, that can sway the averages, such as injuries or physical limitations, the Center for Disease control has set specific guidelines for minimum adult fitness, and those guidelines may surprise you.

The following are the recommendations for Adults 18- 65 years old (These guidelines, are THE MINIMUMS suggested by the CDC):**

For Important Health Benefits Adults need at least:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and
  • muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR

  • 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity(i.e., jogging or running) every week and
  • muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR

  • An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and
  • muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Are you older than 65? Think you are off the hook? Not a chance, as you age, more exercise is recommended for greater health benefits.

Older adults should increase their activity to:**

  • 5 hours (300 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and
  • muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

The benefits of increasing your physical fitness are enormous. Exercise reduces the risk of many diseases and stabilizes (or decreases) weight resulting in better self esteem and overall health. Having a good exercise plan can build healthy routine and structure into your life, which can result in more balanced decisions and less stress. Strength, flexibility, endurance, stamina, balance and improved emotional well-being….all potential outcomes of increasing the amount of exercise you get. What are you waiting for?!

**http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html

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