The importance of exercise in any weight loss program has been discussed for more than 30 years. The National Institutes of Health(1) 2008 Guidelines recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise a week for fitness and weight loss as the minimum. The guidelines warn that any physical activity is better than no physical activity. They note that 2 minutes of mild-moderate activity is the same as 1 minute of high intensity exercise. These guidelines are for children, teens, younger and older adults and even older adults. Here are the guidelines for adults:
1.Inactive adults: start at 60 minutes a week, divided into 3-4 days and gradually increase intensity and duration.
2.Most adults: For those with some extra activity, aim for 150 minutes a week or combination of moderate and high intensity.
3.Best benefits for your health: Try for 300 minutes of moderate exercise a week, again divided into several sessions a week. Muscle strengthening 2 days a week–moderate to vigorous.
Definitions of Light-Moderate and Vigorous Physical Activity:
Light Activity:–daily activities that do not require much effect, daily household chores(less cleaning)
Moderate Activity: – On a scale of 0 to 10, moderate-intensity activity is a 5 or 6 and produces noticeable increases in breathing and heart rate. A person doing a moderate-intensity activity can talk but not sing.
Vigorous-intensity activities make your heart, lungs, and muscles work hard. On a scale of 0 to 10, vigorous-intensity activity is a 7 or 8. A person doing vigorous-intensity activity can’t say more than a few words without stopping for a breath.
Examples of Aerobic Activities
Below are examples of aerobic activities. Depending on your level of fitness, they can be light, moderate, or vigorous in intensity:
- Pushing a grocery cart around a store
- Gardening, such as digging or hoeing that causes your heart rate to go up
- Walking, hiking, jogging, running
- Water aerobics or swimming laps
- Bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading and jumping rope
- Ballroom dancing and aerobic dancing
- Tennis, soccer, hockey, and basketball
Whatever the activity, the secret is frequency and consistency over extreme over the edge exercise than can never be part of your daily life.