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Exercise: How Much Do I Really Need?

By Expert HERWriter
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You want to stay physical, live a long, healthy life and lose weight – right? Then how much exercise do you really need? Turns out you need about 30 minutes each and every day according to the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. I’m not kidding!

Americans need 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise that keeps their heart rate at an appropriate level everyday. This is on top of your usual extra physical activity like unloading groceries, walking the dog, working in the garden, and washing your car. The obesity epidemic has been on the rise for the last several years and it doesn’t take much to observe the number of people with large mid-sections.

Making the time everyday to get your heart rate up will help you lose weight and protect yourself from disease. It’s good for your heart muscle, your lungs, and your brain. Make it a family affair by involving everyone and setting a good example. When kids see their parents taking care of themselves and exercising in order to live a long, healthy life then they too will carry that pattern into their adulthood.

Create a schedule that you can stick to and remember it’s just 30 minutes. Go before work, during lunch, or before dinner. Eat a light snack full of protein if you’re hungry beforehand. Follow a DVD while the kids are napping or in school or do laps during their practices instead of sitting in the car or talking with the other parents. Remember you have to get your heart rate up! Casually walking while gossiping does not count as moderate to vigorous exercise.

If you are new to exercise then talk with your healthcare provider and spend a little money to have a personal trainer walk you through one or two sessions to get you started. Your body will be very glad you did!

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I agree with all of this but have to say that as long as you feel that exercise is a chore, it's going to be challenging to keep at it or stay motivated.

Exercise and physical activity should be something that's incorporated into a lifestyle and that is enjoyable! There are plenty of exercises that are cardiovascular - keep your heart and lungs working well - that are enjoyable. The purpose of physical activity and exercise is to help your body be fit so that you can enjoy life more.. Isn't that what doing healthy things is all about?

B.B. Martin

Improving health made simple

May 31, 2009 - 8:21pm

Every day! I do 3 exercise sessions of 1 hour a week and thought that was OK. Thanks for the suggestions on squeezing in a little more each day.

May 31, 2009 - 4:53pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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