by Pam George
I have always been skeptical when it comes to recommendations as they tend to change with the decades as new evidence comes around and new studies are done.
How much time do you really need to spend working out? According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans two types of exercise are needed. Each week should include aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.They recommended Adults get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity at a moderate pace and at least 2 or more days a week of muscle-strengthening for all muscle groups. They also stated that if the aerobic exercise was vigorous enough as little as 75 minutes a week would be enough. 75 minutes that’s just 1 hour and 15 minutes. Really? Just an hour and 15? They also recommended you could break that down into 10 minutes several times a day. So 10 minutes each day Monday through Saturday and maybe 5 minutes one extra day of vigorous cardio (treadmill, running, biking) and I’m good? They do encourage you to increase the the length and intensity to gain more health benefits, but I wonder how many people read that far or even noticed that. I myself saw 150 or 75 and I’m good to go. https://health.gov/paguidelines/factsheetprof.aspx The 2015-2020 guidelines can be found at https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-1/
Now recent studies by the American Council on Exercise and the Nielsen Organization suggest we need more. Not more exercise per se, but more movement. The notion that I worked out today, and now I’m healthy is not quite correct. Spending an hour working out at whatever intensity doesn’t necessarily equal a healthy outcome. Movement that is functional movement used throughout the day to clean our houses, prepare our meals, cut our grass, climb the stairs, walk down the hall, wash clothes, shop for groceries, etc., is directly impacting our health. Normal everyday movement that we once did without thinking is being replaced with sitting all day at school, work, in front of the computer, and television. We are stressed and sedentary and just the thought of fitting a workout in is overwhelming. The 10 minutes sounds like something we can manage before dinner and homework with the kids. That may be the reasoning for the breakdown, maybe we will actually do the 10 minutes. So spending the day moving at a lower intensity doing everyday activities and combating long hours of sitting is just as important as the intense 75 minutes or moderate 150 minutes of workouts we may be doing per week at home or the fitness center.