Setting a realistic 🎯 for activity level

How Much Physical Activity Do I Need?

walking

There are few lifestyle factors that can have as great an impact on health as regular physical activity. Next to quitting smoking, getting more active is the best thing you can do for your health. Among other things, activity has been proven to improve:

  • Sleep πŸ›Œ
  • Well-being and Confidence 😁
  • Mobility and Bone Health πŸ’€
  • Cognition and Brain Function 🧠
  • Strength and Stamina πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ
  • Longevity πŸ§“

...all the while reducing risk-factors for many diseases πŸ€’

Despite findings such as these, a majority of people aren't realizing this benefit. The biggest reason for this is that 21st century lifestyles are more sedentary than any other point in history. Activity used to be a more natural part of day to day life. We now have to make a more conscious effort to take care of our bodies and get active.

"The biggest reason for this is that 21st century lifestyles are more sedentary than any other point in history."

So how much activity should I be getting?

Thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the WHO 🌎 and US Department of Health and Human Services πŸ‘¨β€βš•οΈ, the answer is pretty simple! They've put together guidelines and recommendations after reviewing hundreds of scientific studies on health and fitness. It should be encouraging that nearly all such reports are in agreement across the world.

Here are some key takeaways:
  1. One's health noticeably improves starting at ⌚2.5 hours a week of moderate intensity exercise (equivalent to a brisk walk).
  2. Health benefits continue to increase with higher levels of activity. In fact, there is no scientific threshold for too much activity πŸ‘©β€πŸ”¬
  3. High intensity exercise πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈis roughly 2 times as effective as moderate intensity activity. This means you can see significant health improvement with as little as 75 minutes of high intensity exercise a week. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a popular option for people looking to be efficient.
What else can we learn from these big reports?
  • People of all ages and ability can enjoy being more active πŸ₯‡
  • With proper precautions, exercise can be safe for nearly everyone.
  • Adding in resistance training 2+ times per week helps to strength and bone-density πŸ’ͺ

I hope you find these results to be encouraging! If you are just starting out on your journey towards a more active lifestyle, 150 minutes a week is a great goal to aim for.

It's important to remind yourself to take care of your body and be intentional about finding time to do so. If time is a constant hurdle, check out our article on Finding Time to Get Active.

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