Does your prescription for better health include exercise? Since it has proven benefits for everything from lowering blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol as well as improving mental health and kidney function and even decreasing the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s, it is beneficial to know what type and how much exercise is enough to address your specific issues.
The new American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association Guidelines are 5 days a week of moderate intensity cardiovascular activities and 2 additional days of strength training. The duration of aerobic activity varies according to your goal as follows:
• General Health Benefits – 30 minutes
• Avoid Weight Gain – 30 -50 minutes
• Weight Loss – 45-84 minutes
• Prevent Weight Regain after loss – 40-60 minutes
Work on strength, endurance, flexibility and balance for overall health. Interval training is a great way to burn calories and build cardiopulmonary fitness, however be sure you are conditioned and start slow with very short intervals.
Walking is the easiest way to get aerobic activity. Work your way up to 10,000 steps per day.
Weight training builds muscle mass which burns more calories, keeps your joints stable and maintains or builds strength necessary to not only do everyday tasks but to build reserve so when you extend yourself and push past your limits, you may avoid injury. To build muscle, lift 65% of your maximum, however be sure you are conditioned enough to do this.
Weight Training Guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine
Make exercise fun and enjoyable so you will stick with a program. It’s best to get assessed to determine how to start, how you compare to others your age and what to focus on. Seek the advice of a health care professional to tailor a program to your individual needs to fulfill your exercise prescription to better health.