Adults aged 18-64 should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate intensity physical exercise each week. That’s just over 20 minutes a day and can even be completed 10 minutes at a time.
Activities that are considered to be moderate in intensity
include: brisk walking, dancing, vacuuming, gardening(raking, trimming), using a manual wheelchair and swimming. None of these activities require any expensive equipment and most can be done in or around your home.
The key to getting started is to find something you enjoy doing. If it is spending time with your children, start a game of tag or shoot some hoops together. If you crave a little quiet time, take a nature hike, work in the garden or take a brisk walk with the dog. Feeling social? Take a water aerobics class , bike or run with a friend. Choose activities that cause an increase in breathing and heart rate. All of these activities count toward your goal of 150 minutes a week.
The key to sticking with it, is to schedule activity time into your day. You are much more likely
to exercise if it is a planned activity in your schedule. Remember, 20 to 25 minutes a day is all it takes to reach the 150 minute per week goal. Other ideas to help you be successful are to set simple, attainable goals. Write these goals down and put them somewhere that you will see them every day. Find someone to workout with. Having an exercise partner will keep you accountable and is a great way to give and get support. Log your activity. Keep track of the days you exercise and for how long. You will see how quickly the minutes add up and how attainable 150 minutes a week really is.
The health benefits of exercise are clear and real. In the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for
Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that studies clearly demonstrate that participating in regular physical activity provides many health benefits. These benefits include:
- Lower risk of early death
- Lower risk of coronary heart disease
- Lower risk of stroke
- Lower risk of high blood pressure
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- Lower risk of colon cancer
- Lower risk of breast cancer
- Prevention of weight gain
- Weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake
- Prevention of falls
- Reduced depression
- Better cognitive function (for older adults)
The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks of inactivity. For those in the bleeding disorders community it means healthier muscles and joints and fewer bleeds and Factor. What are activities are you going to chose to get you on your feet and on your way to better health and a better life?
*As with any new activity, or if you are having joint or bleeding problems, make sure you check with your physician or therapist to be sure you are ready to get started.