Are you interested in adding years to your life, and life to your years? Well then, I have the perfect solution for you – physical activity! Regular physical activity can provide health benefits for people of all ages, shapes and sizes by reducing both your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sounds like a pretty good deal, if you ask me!
Many Americans seem to associate the words physical activity with the gym, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Physical activity can be achieved in any type of setting and at any time ranging from a brisk walk to a long run on the beach!
Physical activity includes:
– Any type of aerobic activity that increases your heart rate. This can be achieved by doing something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking in the furthest spot from the front door as possible.
– Walking, jogging and gardening is considered moderate physical activity.
– Elliptical training, biking and participating in aerobic sports is considered vigorous activity.
I recommend preforming the talk test in order to assess whether you are participating in moderate or vigorous activity. If you are able to easily talk to the person next to you during your workout, your activity is considered moderate. If you are unable to speak due to intense breathing then you are performing at a vigorous level.
– Any type of muscle strengthening exercise such as lifting weights, using machines, bands, or your own body weight to target major muscles including legs, hips, back, arms, chest, and stomach. These forms of physical activity are typically considered to be vigorous.
– Balance and stretching activities such as yoga, martial arts and dance, which promote physical flexibility.
So how much is enough?
Adults ages 18-64 should participate in moderate aerobic activity for 2 hours and 30 minutes per week or vigorous activity for 75 minutes per week in order to achieve the necessary health benefits.
Think 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.
It is best to spread this aerobic activity throughout the week rather than completing it in just one work out session.
If your goal is weight loss, you should double the amount of time per week in which you participate in physical activity (5 hours of moderate activity or 3 hours of vigorous activity per week).
For more information regarding the benefits of physical activity, click here!