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How Much Exercise?
If you ask 10 different people how much exercise is enough, you’ll likely get 10 different answers. Part of this confusion could be affected by the multitude of organizations that keep ‘ringing’ in on the subject. There’s the: Office of the Surgeon General (OSG); the American Heart Association (AHA); the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM); and many more organizations giving out free advice.
But if you read the advice and guidelines, most of them have evolved from the same evolving list of scientific data and studies, and therefore have slight variations of the same message:
” Data from a large number of studies evaluating a wide variety of benefits in diverse populations generally support 30 to 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity on 5 or more days of the week.” (Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, Dept of HHS, 2008)
Some key highlights and changes from the old recommendations to the more recent recommendations include:
- Routine Activity is No Substitute for Aerobic Activity: Previous reports were a bit vague in this regard, but the 2008 specifically addresses that we get aerobic activity above and beyond are normal daily motions.
- More is Better: The new recommendation emphasizes the important fact that physical activity above the recommended minimum amount provides even greater health benefits. As a reminder, those benefits include…” Strong evidence demonstrates that, compared to less active persons, more active men and women have lower rates of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon cancer, breast cancer, and depression.” (same reference as above).
- Strength Training: Although old recommendations emphasized its importance, newer guidelines incorporates muscle building routines (8-10 exercises with 10-12 reps each / 2x per week) into the guidance.
Now you might be asking yourself what does “moderate to vigorous exercise” mean? One guideline is your heart rate. Let’s say, for example, you’re 40 years old. Your Maximum Heart Rate (220-age) would be 180 beats per minute. Moderate to vigorous exercise is generally thought to be at a level of 55-90% MHR…or for this example, 99-162 bpm. If you have a heart rate monitor watch or a pulse reader on your exercise equipment, see what range your work-outs are in.
The Sole F80 Treadmill
Depending on where you live, this winter has been brutal for outdoor workouts. Don’t get me wrong…I’m like the Postal Service: I’ll run in rain, sleet, and snow. But it’s come with its price (sinus infection, icy sidewalks – slower pace, and one a few occasions – a frozen water bottle?!). If you had a treadmill this winter, it was likely worth every penny!
I recently had the opportunity to try out the Sole F80 Folding Treadmill for a product review…and loved it. It has more features than many of the gym treadmills I’m used to and is half the price. Here are some of its features:
- Heavy Duty Motor (3 HP) is commercial grade
- Generous running surface (20” x 55”) allows day-dreamers like me some ‘glide space’.
- Large display makes it easy to see all your stats – no ‘toggling’ needed
- Plenty of programs from hill, intervals to heart rate
- Cool bells & whistles include speakers for MP3 player, cooling fans, and speed keys
- Safe & easy to fold up and keep out of the way of ‘little runners’.
Check out my full Sole F80 Review here.
Exercise of the Month:
Disappointed? Were you hoping for a flashier exercise? Walking is a terrific exercise for our heart, lungs, and legs, yet our society makes it out to be an inconvenience. Walking affords us all of the benefits or running with less impact and stress on our bodies. May be getting that parking spot 2 blocks away from work is a blessing in disguise. Perhaps the elevator being down is not all that bad after all. How about walking around outside for your lunch hour instead of eating at your desk? If you have errands that are less than a mile away, take a few extra minutes and try the shoe-leather-express! Walking engages not only our leg muscles but our core muscles as well, as you transfer weight from one foot to the other. Walking is low impact and low stress, yet it provides some great long-term health benefits. Try squeezing in a walk when you can and reap the benefits of mankind’s oldest exercise!
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