There’s nothing like a good workout! Well, at least some people might agree. It’s sad to say that most Americans are not getting enough exercise every day. According to the CDC, a study in 2013 found that only 20% of Americans were meeting the overall recommendations for physical activity. The US government advises that the average healthy individual get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or 75-90 minutes vigorous exercise per week. It is also encouraged to have at least two weekly sessions of resistance training such as weight lifting or muscle-enhancing exercises. Examples of great quality exercise include running, cross-fit, hiking, cycling, swimming, and countless others!
So why should we exercise? Keeping the body fit and active can help to prevent depression, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. Physical activity also leads to proper weight management, enhances flexibility, improves endurance, reduces stress, boosts metabolism, raises energy levels, and puts us in a much better mood! Even so much as a brisk 20 minute walk in the morning can ease the rest of our day. Regardless of body weight, diet patterns, or demographic profile, routine exercise has been shown to extend lifespan and enhance quality of life.
But what if you hate exercise with a passion? Try searching for ways that make it better! Cardio dance is a fun way to get some high-energy activity and still have a fun time. Rock climbing also can target and strengthen many muscles normally not used. Make it a social event by organizing a group to get fit together. If that’s not your thing either, find some kind of activity or task that puts you on your feet, whether it be doing simple housework, going for a walk, grocery shopping, or just running errands! Virtually anything that gets you off the couch and up and moving around will keep you alive and well.