Is 30 Minutes of Exercise a Day Enough?

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. We have all heard it many times before – regular exercise is good for you, and it can help you lose weight and get in better shape. But if you are like many people, our busy lives get in the way. The good news is that it is never too late to start.

Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Physical activity keeps you fit, but it also reduces stress and the risk of chronic diseases. It doesn’t matter what activity you choose as long as your body is moving, your heart is beating fast, and you are having fun!

BENEFITS OF REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

· Decrease risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some cancers

· Lose weight and maintain a healthy weight

· Reduce anxiety and improve mental health

· Lower cholesterol and blood pressure

· Strengthen muscles, bones, and joints

· Increase longevity

HOW MUCH ACTIVITY DO I NEED?

The Centers for Disease Control recommend at least 150 minutes of activity each week for adults, plus strength training twice a week.

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity – at least 150 minutes per week. Anything that gets your heart beating faster counts, such as biking, swimming, and walking the dog.

Muscle-strengthening activity – at least 2 days per week. Do activities that make your muscles work harder than usual, such as lifting weights and push-ups.

 

HOW CAN I GET STARTED?

Get outdoors – whatever your activity of choice is, doing it outside allows you to breath the fresh air as opposed to being cooped up indoors.

Pick up a sport – While running, lifting weights, or the usual fitness exercises are all good, try getting involved in a sport this summer. Pickleball, tennis, swimming, and cycling are some good examples.

Walk whenever possible – Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, park farther from the store and walk, or go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV.

Some benefits can be achieved immediately – like improved blood pressure and reduced anxiety – while other benefits are the result of making physical activity a regular part of your routine.

Whether you enjoy a brisk walk, competitive sports, dancing, or yard work – keep at it this month. If you are new to exercise, this month is ideal to start. You can start small, but we encourage you to start somewhere.

QUESTIONS?

Visit your employee benefits portal or talk to a benefits counselor to discover how your benefits can provide access to helpful tools, resources, and support.

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