Ideal Exercise Details Finally Revealed


The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans detail the types and amounts of physical activity needed for maintenance of good health. A new paper has broken them down into what we all need to know about exercise:

— Adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate- intensity exercise, 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, or a combination of both. For greater health benefits, increase levels to 300 and 150 minutes, respectively. Check with your doctor before increasing your level of exercise if you have an existing health condition.

— Any aerobic activity should be at least 10 minutes long.

— Adults should use muscle-strengthening activities as well that involve all major muscle groups two or more days a week.

— If your condition does not permit all this, be as physically active as your abilities allow. Determine the level of effort for physical activity related to your level of fitness. If you have a chronic condition, understand first how exercise will impact it.

— Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance

— Adults with disabilities who are able should get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, as well as do muscle- strengthening activities at least two days a week

— Adults with disabilities should do their best to avoid inactivity.

And here is what all studies put together suggest exercise can do for you:

— Active men and women have a 30% lower risk of dying from all causes.

— Just two to two and a half hours a week of moderate-intensity exercise could significantly reduce your risk of death.

— Those who get moderate levels of exercise have a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to the least-active people. Those who get higher-intensity exercise have a 30% lower risk.

— The higher your level of activity, the lower your risk of metabolic syndrome.

— Increased levels of exercise could significantly reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

— 150 minutes of exercise a week alone could provide a one-to- three-percent decline in body weight.

— Higher exercise levels could reduce your risk of bone fractures, particularly fractures of the femur.

— Those with osteoarthritis or related conditions can use aerobic and resistance activities to limit pain, boost quality of life and improve mental health.

— Active older adults have a 30% lower risk of functional problems than inactive people do.

— The more exercise you get, the less risk you have of developing colon or breast cancer.

— Active people reduce risk of lung cancer by 20%, endometrial cancer by 30% and ovarian cancer by 20%.

— Regular exercise improves all aspects of depression.

So, what better reasons to get out there and get active?

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