It’s been a loooong day! I worked, met with a friend and took half a kickboxing class and then an hour of Tang Soo Do (Korean karate). My butt is kicked literally and figuratively!
So, how much do YOU move? If you are like me, probably not enough. This is bad! We NEED to move!!! 🏃♀️
How much? Minimum guidelines for exercise is 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise or more. There is no upper limit of exercise necessarily but if you have ever seen an some extreme marathoners that you can almost see through I’d say that borders on unhealthy. They have to be super careful not to deplete themselves and end up with broken bones and heart attacks. Most of us do not have this problem.
Most of us sit on our butts all day getting fat and killing ourselves literally. We have sitting disease. It’s rampant in our culture. It’s some kind of travesty if you have to walk a mile somewhere yet we will drive to take an exercise class. It kind of makes no sense.
But Liz, you just said YOU go to karate and you probably drive there. Yep! I do. Guilty as charged. Karate is something you need to learn with an instructor who can correct you and you need partners you can spar with to practice. Hitting a bag can only get you so far. Its just you can’t play football alone. Well you could but that’d be awkward…
So I am all for home gyms and using the great outdoors as a playground but if the thing that will get you moving requires going to a class or team to learn and do then by all means GO! Exercising with a friend or friends can also be great motivation. You don’t want to let your buddy down and the stakes are higher for not keeping your commitment. Whatever gets you off your butt!
So 150 minutes huh? That’s 2 1/2 hours or 30 minutes 5 days per week. Moderate intensity so not so hard you think you will die but definitely hard enough to sweat and not be able to hold a leisurely conversation. A few words here and there at best. That’s moderate. Walking at a stroll or slow enough to really yak it up is not moderate.
You could also get 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise (high intensity) or a combination. Some of my kickboxing and karate practice can be considered high intensity and the rest moderate. Last week I started doing the 30 minutes of kickboxing before karate so I can get 180 minutes in total.
When you’ve got that under your belt, the recommendation is to kick it up to 300 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 150 minutes vigorous exercise.
But wait! There’s more!
Weight lifting! Twice a week. Weight lifting builds both muscle and bone strength helping to prevent falls and osteoporosis. Muscle also burns more calories at rest than fat does which aids weight loss. 🏋️
Other than not being winded by walking across your office to the bathroom, exercise has many benefits including lower rates of all cause mortality (early death. It can’t prevent death ever), lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and depression. It also prevents hip and spine fractures later on from osteoporosis (weak bones) and it helps with weight maintenance.
So what if you have a disability? The recommendations are the same but you will need to modify what you do based on your disability. No one gets a pass here unless you are literally dying. Then you get steak and lobster wine and whatever you want. 🥩🦞🍷 But that’s not us.
The above recommendations are from both the CDC and WHO (World Health Organization). They don’t have a profit motive. They want you to be healthy! Lower your blood pressure by exercising and eating a healthy diet and you may be able to say goodbye to those pills you’ve been choking down everyday. Let’s just say it, you probably won’t see a pharmaceutical giant seriously promoting exercise.
What if I haven’t gotten off the couch and walking to the bathroom leaves me winded? Well then you need to start small. First you need to talk to your medical provider before you start exercising. If you ah e a heart condition you can join a cardiac rehab program. My dad did this after having bypass surgery. These are supervised and you can be monitored. If you don’t need monitoring and your provider clears you (they should!) the start with 5 minutes a day of concerted effort to walk somewhere. Time it. 5 minutes. And keep walking to the bathroom too. Try doubling it week 2. Then add 10 minutes a day each week until you are walking for 30 minutes 6 days a week or more. When you are able to do more than 30 minutes per day, increase the intensity. The sky’s the limit from there!
Get moving and keep moving and you will be setting yourself up for a lifetime of improved health, stamina and longevity!!