Knowing that 70% of all chronic diseases are prevented by diet and exercise, it's paramount to incorporate enough time for exercise each week to stay healthy and well. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has minimum guidelines for this, and for adults they are:
- 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week AND muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days per week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, arms).
I'm not going to "sugar coat" this message or give you the ol' "wooh hooh, you can do it"! Bottom line, if you aren't meeting these minimum guidelines set by the government, you really must take a time-out and examine why you're not, and how you can immediately incorporate them into your life. There really is no excuse, and you have to carve out the time somehow...someway.
The CDC explains it very well on their website, saying that they know 150 minutes each week sounds like a lot of time, but it's not. That's 2 hours and 30 minutes, about the same amount of time you might spend watching a movie. The good news is that you can spread your activity out during the week, so you don't have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. It's about what works best for you, as long as you're doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.
And I would add that the 2 days a week of the muscle strengthening activities doesn't have to be more than 30 minutes at a time. You can get a great full-body workout in a 30 minute session. Or, you can break that into four 15 minute workouts per week and it's still very effective.
C'mon..you gotta be able to do this. These are minimum standards and guidelines set by a government that isn't exactly an overachieving and efficient running institution anyway.
It's all about your lifestyle and you can change it. Make it happen starting the day you read this article, and it will truly be "the first day of the rest of your life". A long, healthy, happy life that is.
WAIT, I'm not done. Seriously, please do whatever it takes to meet the minimum standards of exercise per week set by the CDC. Just go to this page for full and complete details: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html
Ok, I'm done :) For now anyway.
Jack Witt, MS, CPT
Fitness and Health Coach
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