How Much Exercise Is Enough?

Photo Credit: Beach Cruiser CC-BY-2.0 2009
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults between the ages of 18 and 64 need a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week. Moderate exercise includes walking and strength training 2 or 3 days each week. Adults who enjoy vigorous exercise like jogging, aerobics and running should get about 75 minutes of this type of exercise every week in addition to a couple of days each week for strength training. You can mix up your exercise by alternating days of strength training with a day of moderate exercise and then a day of vigorous exercise. 
Most people will exercise in 30 minute segments every other day to allow their bodies to rest and repair between exercise exertion. It isn’t necessary that you exercise for a full 30 minutes at once. You can break up your daily 30 minutes of exercise into 10 or 15 minute increments and still enjoy the benefits of exercising. For example, if you walk for 10 minutes, 3 times each day Monday through Friday, you will achieve 150 minutes of moderate exercise for the week. As you grow stronger, fitter and your endurance improves, gradually increase the time you work out until you get at least 300 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. 
Aerobic exercise is important for heart and lung health. Exercises that increases your heart rate and breathing counts as aerobic exercise. A brisk walk, mowing the lawn with a push mower, riding a bicycle or chasing the kids around the yard in a game of tag counts as aerobic exercise. Try to get at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted aerobic exercise at a time. More vigorous exercise includes jogging and running, swimming continuously for 15 to 30 minutes, playing tennis or riding a bicycle up and down hills. 
Regular exercise helps control your weight by burning calories and fat, helps to avoid weight-related illness, improves your mood and helps you feel more energetic. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, or if you have any health problems, get a check up and then get active!

Healthy Heart Exercises

Aerobic exercise can help keep your heart healthy. Aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise strengthens your lungs, your heart and all of your muscles. When you engage in regular aerobic exercise, you may see a decrease in your blood pressure and a lower heart rate. This means that your heart is functioning more efficiently and with less effort. See your doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath or chest pains during exercise. 
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Begin your daily exercise routine with some stretches to warm-up your muscles, improve circulation and increase the flexibility of your joints. Warming up can help you to avoid injury. Stretch your muscles for 5 to 10 minutes before every exercise routine. Aerobic exercise is more than the dance-type moves you have seen at the gym and on popular exercise CDs. Aerobic exercise is also walking, jumping, swimming, jogging, running, skiing, dancing, roller skating and ice skating. Swimming is one of the best types of aerobic exercise because it works the whole body, including the heart and lungs, and is very low impact. Try to get about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 or 4 times each week. Don’t forget to cool down after 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise by stretching to relax your muscles, cool your body and allow your heart rate to slow down. 
Swimming is one of the best overall aerobic exercises for your heart and lungs. Water aerobics and swimming are an excellent choice for those with arthritis or joint injury. Beginners and weak swimmers should start with walking in the water and doing some water-squats. Build up your strength and endurance until you can swim continuously for at least 30 minutes. Once you reach the target goal of swimming continuously for 30 minutes, increase your swimming time a few minutes each day until you are swimming for a total of 60 minutes.