Keeping Fit: Is It 30, 60 or 90?

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The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association just released new recommendations for daily physical activity for good health. The advice: 30 minutes moderately intense aerobic activity five times a week OR vigorously intense aerobic activity 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week AND 8 to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.

It’s good to see we’re back to focusing on some reasonable recommendations. A few years ago, when the newest version of the US Dietary Guidelines were released, it seemed the most we heard about in the media was the recommendation to get 60 to 90 minutes a day of physical activity. For a nation of folks who don’t seem to be able to get 10-15 minutes a day of activity with any regularity, we thought this new guideline was a bit discouraging at the least. Guess I should have read the fine print — it seems the 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity was for weight loss and maintenance of that loss.

Regardless, now the media has picked up on the 30 minutes a day, and I for one am thankful. While we at Green Mountain do see that for healthy weight loss, the longer times are definitely beneficial, we also see women who can easily feel overwhelmed with lifestyle change. The shorter times, while perhaps not as conducive to weight loss, still can make a huge difference, and are what we need for good health.

Of course, there’s still the question for most of us at some point of how to get even the 30 minutes recommended a day. There’s a good answer: become an intrinsic exerciser. Then the joy of movement keeps us moving.

That’s a goal I think we can all agree on!

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