As an adult, how much exercise do I need?
First, it is important to remember that everyone is different and that each individual has different needs. What works for one person may not work for you. But you can follow general guidelines and recommendations to increase the quality of your exercise program and reduce the risk of injury
According to the Surgeon General, an average adult should participate in 30 minutes of light to moderate activity, 3 to 5 days a week. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends an additional 20-30 minutes focused on strength training to help with weight management and functionality. The ACSM provides a few tips to assist making your lifestyle more active.
- Do it in short bouts. Research shows that moderate-intensity physical activity can be accumulated throughout the day in 10-minute bouts, which can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes straight. This can be useful when trying to fit physical activity into a busy schedule.
- Mix it up. Combinations of moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity can be used to meet the guidelines. For example, you can walk briskly for 30 minutes twice per week and jog at a higher intensity on two other days.
- Set your schedule. Maybe its easier for you to walk during your lunch hour, or perhaps hitting the pavement right after dinner is best for you. The key is to set aside specific days and times for exercise, making it just as much a regular part of your schedule as everything else.
- The gym isnt a necessity. It doesnt take an expensive gym membership to get the daily-recommended amount of physical activity. A pair of athletic shoes and a little motivation is all you need to live a more active, healthier life.
- Make it a family affair. Take your spouse, your children, or a friend with you during exercise to add some fun to your routine. This is also a good way to encourage your kids to be physically active and get them committed early to a lifetime of health.
Remember consult your doctor before you start any type of exercise program.
Leonel Muralles is Disease Management Coordinator for the East Jefferson General Hospital Wellness Center. To find out more about how to join the Wellness Center and get on a path to healthier living, call 504-849-6868.