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Do You Know How Much Exercise You Should Do To Stay Healthy? – January is Family Fit Lifestyle Month (Part 2 of 4)

How Much Exercise to Stay Healthy

"What fits your busy schedule better? Exercising 20 minutes a day or being dead 24 hours a day?"

In Part One of this series which was posted last week, I mentioned that, January just happens to be Family Fit Lifestyle Month and that, if you are thinking about making a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and to exercise more, I gave you 12 Great Tips to Help You Get Started.

In this week’s post of this series, I will answer your question: Do You Know How Much Exercise You Should Do To Stay Healthy? The Third Part: 12 Tips to Help You Promote Healthy Eating for Your Entire Family, will be posted sometime week, and then the final Fourth Part: 4 Tips to Help You and Your Entire Family Stimulate Your Minds will be posted the following week after that.


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I hope you find this post series of information useful and welcome any of your thoughts or any questions you may have on this subject. So, once you’ve finished reading this post, please feel free to leave your comments below.

How Much Exercise You Should Do To Stay Healthy?

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

The best way to gain substantial health benefits is through moderate aerobic physical activity … adults 20 minutes a day and children 60 minutes a day … it’s important for all Americans to be active, and the guidelines are a road map to include physical activity in their daily routine … The evidence is clear, regular physical activity over months and years produces long-term health benefits and reduces the risk of many diseases. The more physically active you are, the more health benefits you gain.

In adults, the recommended amount of physical activity reduces the risk of early death, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, depression, and it can improve thinking ability and the ability to engage in activities needed for daily living.

In children, the recommended amount of physical activity and adolescents improves cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness as well as bone health, and contributes to favorable body composition.

These guidelines below are designed so you can easily fit physical activity into your daily plan and incorporate activities you enjoy. The Physical Activity Guidelines by group are:

  • Children and Adolescents: One hour or more of moderate or vigorous aerobic physical activity a day, including: vigorous intensity physical activity at least three days a week. Examples of moderate intensity aerobic activities include: hiking, skateboarding, bicycle riding, and brisk walking. Vigorous intensity aerobic activities include: bicycle riding, jumping rope, running, and sports such as: soccer, basketball, and ice or field hockey. Children and adolescents should incorporate muscle-strengthening activities, such as: rope climbing, sit-ups, and tug-of war, three days a week. Bone-strengthening activities, such as: jumping rope, running and skipping, are also recommended three days a week.
  • Adults: Two and a half hours a week or more of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity, or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Examples of moderate intensity aerobic activities include: walking briskly, water aerobics, ballroom dancing and general gardening. Vigorous intensity aerobic activities include: cycling, race-walking, jogging or running, swimming laps, jumping rope and hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes. For more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to five hours a week moderate-intensity or two and one half hours a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Adults should incorporate muscle strengthening activities, such as weight training, push-ups, sit-ups and carrying heavy loads or heavy gardening, at least two days a week.
  • Older adults: Should follow the guidelines for other adults when it is within their physical capacity. If a chronic condition prohibits their ability to follow those guidelines, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow. If they are at risk of falling, they should also do exercises that maintain or improve balance.
  • Women during pregnancy: Healthy women should get at least two and one half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week during pregnancy and the time after delivery, preferably spread through the week. Pregnant women who habitually engage in vigorous aerobic activity or who are highly active can continue during pregnancy and the time after delivery, provided they remain healthy and discuss with their health care provider how and when activity should be adjusted over time.
  • Adults with disabilities: Those who are able should get at least two and one half hours of moderate aerobic activity a week, or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. They should incorporate muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups two or more days a week. When they are not able to meet the guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity according to their abilities and should avoid inactivity.
  • People with chronic medical conditions: Adults with chronic conditions get important health benefits from regular physical activity. They should do so with the guidance of a health care provider.

Be sure to check back for Next week’s post in this series: 12 Tips to Help You Promote Healthy Eating for Your Entire Family . . . or keep yourself up to date with what is going on at Belvidere Chiropractic Center by simply subscribing to the RSS Feed HERE or to the Email Updates HERE. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or YouTube.

4 Responses to Do You Know How Much Exercise You Should Do To Stay Healthy? – January is Family Fit Lifestyle Month (Part 2 of 4)
  1. Dan Spinato
    January 29, 2012 | 3:29 am

    For people who are still on their new year’s resolutions, try to complete the recommended amount of exercise for your age/condition. Moving a lot is good not only for the body but also for the bones and the brain.

    • Dr Jon P Heins
      January 29, 2012 | 5:30 am

      Dr. Spinato: as always, thanks for the input.

  2. Kelly
    February 24, 2012 | 1:22 am

    I really want to exercise but my back is so stiff. I just recently had a baby any advice?

    • Dr Jon P Heins
      February 24, 2012 | 7:15 pm

      Kelly: Congratulations on the birth of your child! In the post under Women during pregnancy it recommends how much exercise you should be doing the time after delivery. However, if you are having difficulty performing any type of exercise because of a limited range of motion in your spine, the only advice I can recommend at this time is that you first have a consultation and spinal examination (and if clinically indicated possible x-rays) by a local Doctor of Chiropractic to find out what exactly is causing your lower back stiffness and what you’ll need to do to correct it. If you have difficulty locating one you can contact me via e-mail through the site’s contact page and I’d be happy to try and help locating one for you.

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