How Much is Enough?
You should try to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity most days of the week, preferably daily.
Should You See Your Doctor Before Exercising?
Most people donâ€™t need to see their doctor before starting to become more physically active. However, if you have one or more of these conditions, consult your health care provider before beginning:
- Chronic health problems such as heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis or obesity
- If you are at high risk for heart disease
- If you are over age 40 for men or over age 50 for women
What Kind of Activities Counts As Physical Activity?
You might say, â€śvariety is the spice of exerciseâ€ť because of all the choices you have. Some people like to do activities that fit into their daily routine such as gardening or taking extra trips up and down the stairs. Other people choose a regular exercise program and some do both.
What Are Routine Activities That Count for Physical Activity?
There are a number of ways that you can incorporate exercise into your daily life. Some of these activities are not vigorous or sustained, but they still have benefits if done daily.
As part of your routine activities:
- Walk, wheel or bike ride instead of driving
- Walk up stairs instead of taking an elevator
- Get off the bus a few stops early and walk or wheel the rest of the way
- Mow the lawn with a push mower
- Rake leaves
- Push a stroller
- Clean the house
- Do exercise or pedal a stationary bike while you watch television
- Play actively with your children
- Take a brisk 10-minute walk in the morning, at lunch and after dinner
As part of your recreation, you can:
- Walk, wheel or jog
- Bicycle or use an arm pedal bicycle
- Swim or do water aerobics
- Play racket or wheelchair sports
- Golf (pull your cart or carry the clubs)
- Cross-country ski
- Play basketball
- Take part in an exercise program at work, home, school or the gym
What Kind of Activities Are Especially Beneficial?
Aerobic activities are those that speed up your heart rate and breathing. They help cardiovascular fitness.
Activities for strength and flexibility help maintain your bones. Examples are carrying groceries, lifting weights, stretching, dancing or yoga.
If you want to step up your activity level to more vigorous exercise, you can burn even more calories.
How Many Calories Can You Burn?
Here are some average calories burned by a 150 pound person shown by the type of moderate to intense activity:
|Bicycling 6 mph
|Bicycling 12 mph
|Jogging 5 mph
|Jogging 7 mph
|Running in place
|Running 10 mph
|Swimming 25 yards/min.
|Swimming 50 yards/min.
|Walking 2 mph
|Walking 3 mph
|Walking 4 mph
The calories you spend on a particular activity vary in proportion to your body weight. If you want to see how many calories you will burn, use lifeclinic.comâ€™s exercise tool. You can personalize your exercise program, chart your calories burned and see your progress. You donâ€™t have to do any of the calculating. All you have to do is enter your body weight and activity information.