According to the Centers for Disease Control, the proportion of adults who said they went on a 10-minute walk at least once a week increased to 62 percent in 2010, from 56 percent in 2005. Federal guidelines put into place recently, recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise such as brisk walking or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise like running each week. The proportion of people who met federal guidelines for aerobic exercise also grew, to 48 percent in 2010 from 42 percent in 2005. Walking, the most popular exercise, increased across all races, ages and regions. The South showed the biggest increase in people who said they walked during the study period, to 57 percent from 49 percent in 2005. The Northeast showed the smallest increase, to 66 percent from 64 percent. Although the report shows improvement, less than half of adults are getting enough activity to show substantial health benefits. Physical activity is divided into two types of activities for adults: aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activity. Aerobic activity can be of moderate or vigorous intensity. It is important to start with aerobic activities that are less intense at first, and work up to more vigorous activity. The other type of physical activity is muscle strengthening exercise. Muscle strengthening can be done with a weight program, heavy gardening, or push-ups and calisthenics. The amount of physical activity is very important to achieve health benefits. Any increase in activity is better than less activity. While performing moderate activities (such as brisk walking), you should be able to talk but not sing. Vigorous activity requires taking a breath every few words. Benefits of exercise are:
  • Burning calories and reduce body fat
  • Controlling and maintain current weight
  • Improvement of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Improvement of overall fitness and ability to perform daily activities
  • Prevention of diseases such as osteoporosis and depression
  • Reduction of the appetite
Yours in good health, Linda Hlivka Clinical Nutritionist