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To what degree do I need to exercise to improve my health?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

You have a great deal of flexibility in how frequently, long, and intensely you exercise. For example, the more you exercise, the more fit you become and the more weight you lose, but if you're just trying to stay healthy and reduce your risk of premature death, simply walking twenty to thirty minutes per day - and not necessarily very fast or all at once - may be sufficient. Most sources recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, plus some muscle-strengthening exercises twice a week to maintain good health.

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The American Academy of Sports Medicine provides the following guidelines for physical activity and health;

"Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week
OR 
Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week
AND
Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week."



This is a great stretch to do twice on each side holding for 30 seconds two to three times per day.

We can also accumulate activity throughout the day. For example ten minutes of walking in the morning, ten minutes at lunch and ten minutes after dinner. Moving regularly is key to optimal health. Including flexibility and core stability exercises will help to combat the seated posture that we use most of the day. Stretching and performing core exercises will help us to stand tall and keep healthy so we can enjoy other types of exercise, hobbies or recreational activities. 
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.