It’s Spring, time to get those sneakers on!
We know that physical activity is important, but how much should we be aiming for?
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adults get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate aerobic activity a week (ex. brisk walking), as well as 2 or more days of muscle strength activity (ex. weights, resistance bands, and/or yoga).
What are the benefits? It’s a long list!
Physical Activity can lower the risk of: Early death, Heart disease, Stroke, Type 2 diabetes, High blood pressure, Adverse blood lipid profile, Metabolic Syndrome, Colon and breast cancers, as well as prevent weight gain, help with weight loss when combined with diet, improve cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness, prevents falls, reduces depression, and improves cognitive function (older adults). (CDC.gov)
If not enough reasons yet, there is evidence to show….it improves functional health (older adults), reduces abdominal obesity, helps with weight maintenance after weight loss, lowers risk of hip fracture, increases bone density, improves sleep quality, lowers risk of lung and endometrial cancers. (CDC.gov)
How to fit it in?
The good news is that 10 minutes of physical activity at a time counts!
- Break down the cardio … 22 minutes of brisk walking every day can help you meet the recommended 2 ½ hours a week. This can look like: 11 minutes first thing in the morning and 11 minutes at lunch time.
- What about the strength training? Try using resistance bands while watching TV, build up to adding light weights when walking or find a yoga class.
Find Exercise videos for beginners at: go4life.nia.nih.gov.
Hope this provides some motivation to get moving more this Spring!
Tanya Lopez, your MAHV Dietitian
Note: Older Adults or Adults with chronic conditions should check with their doctor before starting a physical activity plan.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines. Accessed: 2/23/17.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Activity and Health. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/ Accessed: 2/23/17.