How Much Exercise Should I Do?

The Department of Health and Human Services offers following answer using Moderate vs Vigorous exercise.

MODERATE INTENSITY

• Walking briskly (3 miles per hour or faster, but not race-walking)
• Water aerobics
• Bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour
• Tennis (doubles)
• Ballroom dancing
• General gardening

VIGOROUS INTENSITY

• Race walking, jogging, or running
• Swimming laps
• Tennis (singles)
• Aerobic dancing
• Bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster
• Jumping rope
• Heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing, with heart rate increases)
• Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack

So, how much exercise should you do?

The Department of Health and Human Services says, “When adults do the equivalent of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, the benefits are substantial. These benefits include lower risk of premature death, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and depression.

“Not all health benefits of physical activity occur at 150 minutes a week. As a person moves from 150 minutes a week toward 300 minutes (5 hours) a week, he or she gains additional health benefits. Additional benefits include lower risk of colon and breast cancer and prevention of unhealthy weight gain.

“Also, as a person moves from 150 minutes a week toward 300 minutes a week, the benefits that occur at 150 minutes a week become more extensive. For example, a person who does 300 minutes a week has an even lower risk of heart disease or diabetes than a person who does 150 minutes a week.

“The benefits continue to increase when a person does more than the equivalent of 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. For example, a person who does 420 minutes (7 hours) a week has an even lower risk of premature death than a person who does 150 to 300 minutes a week. Current science does not allow identifying an upper limit of total activity above which there are no additional health benefits.

How Many Days a Week and for How Long?

“Aerobic physical activity should preferably be spread throughout the week. Research studies consistently show that activity performed on at least 3 days a week produces health benefits. Spreading physical activity across at least 3 days a week may help to reduce the risk of injury and avoid excessive fatigue.

Both moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes. Episodes of this duration are known to improve cardiovascular fitness and some risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”

Tony

2 Comments

Filed under aging, Exercise, exercise duration, Weight

2 responses to “How Much Exercise Should I Do?

  1. I never really thought of cycling more than 10MPH as “vigorous” but if the government says so ….

    Like

    • Dave –

      Interesting point. I agree that 10 mph doesn’t sound like much even to a senior citizen like me. Of course, I am sure you have ridden against the wind or uphill which cut your speed down to 10 mph but burned a ton of energy and calories.

      That’s why I like the dictum “Listen to your body.” That way you will know whether it is vigorous or not regardless of what anyone else says.

      Tony

      Like

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