Daily Exercise – How Much Should You Be Getting?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases.” Not to mention, daily exercise helps to reduce stress and increases happiness.
Squeezing daily exercise into your routine can be hard. Luckily, there are plenty of activities to choose from to keep your exercise fun and exciting. Ranging from yoga and pilates to running and lifting weights, you now have the ability to reach your daily exercise goals through various types physical activities.
How Much Daily Exercise is Recommended?
According to the American Heart Association, stroke and heart disease are the nation’s top killers. Daily exercise not only reduces the risk of these diseases, but it also improves overall cardiovascular health.
There are many conflicting recommendations out there about how much daily exercise we need, it can be hard to know what to believe. However, The American Heart Association, CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) all agree on the following recommendations for daily exercise:
Adults age 18–64 years old should complete at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity throughout the week (2 hours and 30 minutes). For those who prefer a more intense workout, they should complete 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity every week (1 hour and 15 minutes). Don’t be afraid to get creative! You can even mix it up for a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
Just keep moving! To experience the optimal benefits from daily exercise, it’s recommend that aerobic activity be performed in bursts of at least 10 minutes. You’ll also experience the benefits of daily exercise even if you split your activity into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day. Additionally, adults should complete strength training for major muscle groups 2 or more days a week.
Adults 65+ are recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity throughout the week or to do at least 75 minutes of high-intensity physical activity throughout the week.
Children and adolescents (age 6-17 years) should complete at least 60 minutes or more of physical activity everyday (1 hour). Most of this physical activity should consist of moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. It’s also recommended children mix in vigorous physical activity at least three days a week.
Additionally, as part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and teens should include age appropriate bone-strengthening and strength training exercises at least three days a week. Yoga is a great way to promote strength in children.
What are the Benefits of Physical Activity?
There are so many benefits to daily exercise. People who are physically active experience:
- Improved muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness;
- Improved bone and functional health;
- Lower rates of: coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, cancer (including colon and breast cancer), and depression;
- Decreased risk of falling and of hip or vertebral fractures;
- And are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
Regardless of age, the key to any daily exercise routine is to make sure it’s safe and fun. First of all, you don’t want to injure yourself. So if you have any concerns, consult with your doctor. Secondly, if you are having fun you’re more likely to stick with your daily exercise routine.
Remember that if you’re short on time, even small sessions of daily exercise offer benefits. For example, if you can’t fit in one 30-minute job, aim for three 10-minute walks instead. The important thing is making daily exercise part of your lifestyle. So get out there and start moving!
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