Orthopedic Specialists

How Much Exercise Do I Need?

May 3, 2019

Do you know how much exercise or physical activity you should be getting each week?  Everyone needs some exercise or physical activity each week to help maintain their health.  There are some minimal amounts of exercise or aerobic physical activity as guidelines from the American Heart Association.  

Adults (18-64 years)
Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a moderate level or 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a vigorous level.  Being active 5 or more hours each week can provide even more benefits.  It is also recommended that you try to do at least 2 days each week of moderate to high-intensity muscle strengthening activity.

What is intensity?
Physical activity is anything that moves your body and burns calories.  This includes things like walking, climbing stairs, and stretching.  Moderate intensity gets your heart rate up and you will breathe harder, but you will still be able to talk.

Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities include:
1.    Brisk walking – at least 2.5 miles per hour
2.    Water aerobics
3.    Dancing – ballroom or social
4.    Gardening
5.    Tennis (doubles)
6.    Biking slower than 10 miles per hour 

Vigorous intensity activities require a higher amount of effort.  You will probably get warm and begin to sweat.  You won’t be able to talk much without getting out of breath.   Examples of vigorous activities include:
1.    Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack
2.    Running
3.    Swimming laps
4.    Aerobic dancing
5.    Heavy yardwork like continuous digging or hoeing
6.    Tennis (singles)
7.    Cycling 10 miles per hour or faster 
8.    Jumping rope  

Everyone is at a different level of physical fitness.  As always, check with your doctor before beginning an exercise activity to see what they recommend for you.  Start slowly and work up to the suggested amount of exercise above. Spread the physical activity out over your week.  Moving your body, as much as you are able, can only bring benefits to your health.  Start today!  

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