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What Amount of Physical Activity is Needed for a Healthy Lifestyle?

Do you want to enjoy our retirement, play with your grandkids and great grandkids, travel the world, and maintain your mobility and independence as you age? It is important to create a healthy lifestyle that allows you to continue to be active as you age. Being physically active is one of the most important actions that people of all ages can take to improve their health. Physical activity not only improves your overall physical health, but it also improves your mental health and decreases your risk for disease. Increases in physical activity have been shown to improve quality of sleep, quality of life, and cognitive functioning. Let's take a look at how you can build a healthy lifestyle by staying physical activity, so that you can continue enjoy all of your favorite activities for years to come.

Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

What are the benefits of regular physical activity?

  • Increased life-span

  • Improved quality of life

  • Decreased risk of Cardiovascular (Heart) disease

  • Improved mental health

    • Decreased risk of anxiety and depression

    • Improved cognitive functioning

  • Improved quality of sleep

  • Decreased risk of disease (Type II Diabetes, Cancer)

  • Improved physical health

    • Increased physical function (mobility, independence)

    • Increased bone health

    • Decreased risk of falls

How Much Physical Activity Should You Do?

Key Guidelines for Adults

  • For substantial health benefits adults should do at least 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week

    • Additional health benefits are seen beyond 300 minutes per week

  • Perform muscle strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity 2 or more days per week

What Does This Mean for You?

150 minutes may seem like a daunting task to some and others may already be getting that amount of exercise or more. The good news is that some activity is better than no activity and the positive effects of physical activity compound as you exercise more! If are are currently an inactive person, don’t worry, all you have to do is start small, but it is important that you start being physically active. One study has shown that with as little as one hour of walking per week, women reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease. One single session of moderate-vigorous exercise can decrease blood pressure (BP) and anxiety and improve insulin sensitivity, sleep, and cognition for up to 12-16 hours after exercise. And the even better news is that these improvements become greater and the effects become permanent with regular exercise!

If you are currently a physically active person, even a slight increase in the intensity or amount of physical activity you do can show a positive effect on your health. A small increase in energy expenditure can improve your mortality risk by 20%. So no matter where you are in terms of your level of physical activity, making small changes today can have a big impact on your future.

You may be thinking to yourself, "Well this sounds good, but what is the best type of activity to do?" The answer is simple, whatever activity you enjoy doing and will be consistent in keeping up with. Check out the chart below for some ideas on ways to be active.

If your activity level has been impacted by COVID and the quarantine or if you have a special older adult in your life who has been impacted, I invite you to join me on September 21, 2020 at 6pm for a FREE Webinar to learn 5 Tips for Older Adults on Staying Active During COVID and Beyond! You can register here:

If you are dealing with an injury or aches/pains that have been impacting your ability to stay active then contact us today at 515-985-9038 or, so we can help you get back to feeling like yourself and moving again!

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