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How Much Exercise Does the Body Need

The evidence continues to mount that exercise is a key to a long healthy life with less risk of chronic disease. Although a majority of studies and research concur that exercise is fundamental, advice on duration, frequency, and how vigorous of an exercise program is needed differs and continues to evolve. 

Edward R. Laskowsi, M.D. writing for the Mayo Clinic notes that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recommends that adults “Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. To provide an even greater health benefits and to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefits.”

The Effects of Exercise on Life Expectancy 

The spring and summer of 2022 saw the release of long-term studies from around the world that centered on the need for exercise. There were conclusions that confirmed the current DHHS recommendation of 150 – 300 minutes of exercise as a minimum requirement. Others believe that the minimum should be doubled to 600 minutes per week. 

As with all studies, it is important to go beyond the headlines and look at the data that led to the conclusions. Longevity, a publication that has explored the subject of its name for over three decades went in-depth with an article entitled, How Much Exercise Promotes Longevity? written by Gisele Wertheim Aymes. 

Throughout the article blurbs from leading researchers cited by the writer should convince anyone that exercise and long healthy life go hand in hand. Throughout the article Ms. Aymes notes:

  • “Regular physical activity reduces the risk of premature death from any cause. Harvard scientists report that when you exercise, your muscles release natural substances that help relax blood vessel walls.”
  • “Physically inactive middle-aged women (engaging in less than 1 hour of exercise per week) experienced a 52% increase in all-cause mortality. The same research showed a doubling of cardiovascular-related mortality and a 29% increase in cancer-related mortality when compared with physically active ones.”
  • “Exercise improves the muscles’ ability to pull oxygen out of the blood. This reduces the need for the heart to pump more blood to the muscles.”

The medical community, researchers, and those who are committed to physical activity agree that exercise is the best medicine to ward off chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and slowing cognitive functions prevalent in aging. 

Working Muscles and Pampering Them

Now that the research is convincing people that exercise is fundamental, they need to know that working muscles is followed by pampering muscles. Muscles suddenly thrust into action are susceptible to strains, pulls, and overtaxing. It is important that the difference between injured and overused can be distinguished. 

Ice and heat are drug-free alternatives to treat sore, overused, and injured muscles. The ice pack and heating pad are handy DIY at-home treatment options. For soothing pain from injury or extended soreness from long-term overuse, today’s spas offer the innovative FIT Bodywrap Infrared Sauna. It provides a soothing targeted heat therapy with a four-zone heat control panel for the ultimate comforting healing experience for overworked muscles and chronic pain.

FAQ about amount of exercise a body needs

1.What is the minimum recommended amount of exercise for adults?

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week for adults, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.

2.Can I break up my exercise routine throughout the week?

Yes, you can divide your exercise routine into shorter sessions. For example, five 30-minute moderate-intensity sessions per week meet the recommended 150 minutes.

3.Is daily exercise better than exercising a few times a week?

Both daily exercise and exercising a few times a week can be beneficial. The key is to meet or exceed the total recommended weekly exercise time, whether it’s through daily activities or fewer, longer sessions.

4.How much exercise is too much?

Exercising beyond 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week can lead to diminishing returns and increased risk of injury. It’s important to balance exercise with adequate rest.

5.Is there a recommended amount of exercise for weight loss?

For significant weight loss, more than 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity is often recommended, along with dietary changes.

6.Can I still benefit from exercising even if I don’t meet the minimum guidelines?

Yes, any amount of physical activity is more beneficial than none. Even short periods of activity can provide health benefits, especially if you’re starting from a sedentary lifestyle.


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