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Are You Really Exercising Enough?
Nearly three-quarters of the US population isn’t getting enough exercise. According to results from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, only 23 percent of American adults meet the national guidelines for aerobic and strengthening exercise.
Researchers looked at five years of health and lifestyle data collected through the National Health Interview Survey. More than 155,000 adults (age 18 – 64) from 2010 to 2015 were asked if and how often they performed aerobic and/or muscle-strengthening exercise in their free time. Of those surveyed, only 23 percent of people met the nationally recommended guidelines.
What is Recommended?
According to the CDC, two types of physical activity are necessary to improve your health – aerobic and muscle-strengthening. For important health benefits adults need:
- Two hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, or
- One hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous aerobic exercise per week.
- Plus, two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities that work major muscle groups.
These are minimum recommendations; it is suggested you aim for twice the amount of exercise listed above. You will want to increase your activity gradually, but don’t overdo it! Remember, before beginning any exercise program, be sure to consult your healthcare provider.
What Activities Count?
Aerobic activity (cardio) is any activity that gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster. Aerobic exercises include walking, hiking, martial arts, dancing, swimming, bicycle riding and golfing.
Muscle-strengthening activities keep your muscles strong and help prevent muscle loss. Strengthening activities include weightlifting, working with resistance bands, yoga and bodyweight exercises.
Don’t have a lot of time? You can make a difference in your health just by working 10 minutes at a time.