How much physical activity do you need?
Getting physical activity can be easier than you think.
The American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines suggest you aim for 30 minutes a day, five times a week. According to the AHA, you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.
Here are guidelines to help you.
- At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week for a total of 150 minutes
- At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
- Moderate- to high-intensity muscle strengthening activity at least two days per week for additional health benefits.
Not sure if your activity level is moderate or vigorous? Here is how to tell. Your body is working at a moderate level when you can talk but not sing. Your body is working at a vigorous level when you can't say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.
AHA studies show that for every hour of walking, life expectancy may increase by two hours.
- Walking for as few as 30 minutes a day provides heart health benefits.
- Walking is the simplest way to start and continue a fitness journey
From shin splints to a sore shoulder, injuries can derail a fitness regimen in no time. Here are some tips to avoid injury and stay on track.
- Play it safe. Always consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program. Address any chronic injuries and use orthotics, braces and wraps as needed.
- RICE (Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.). If you twist an ankle playing soccer or wrench an elbow lifting weights, use the RICE method to help ease discomfort and aid in the healing process.
- Go at your own pace. Start with small goals and build up. Ten minutes walking on step counts toward a healthier you!
Celebrate your successes, no matter how small. The point is that you begin to enjoy taking care of yourself.