Physical activity provides numerous health benefits such as weight control and lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression. Experts have established these physical activity guidelines for adults. Thirty minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity five days a week, or twenty minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity three days a week. These are minimal guidelines, you can add additional workout days or longer workout sessions if you want to increase your health benefits, lose weight, or are training for an athletic event.
What is aerobic physical activity, and why is it important? Well, aerobic physical activity improves your heart’s efficiency while resting and during exercise. It is continuous movement that uses the large muscle groups of your arms and legs. During aerobic physical activity, your heart rate increases and you may begin to breathe hard. Walking, running, swimming, and biking are great examples of aerobic activity. If you are walking, running, or biking be sure to dress appropriately for the weather.
Aerobic physical activity provides a host of health benefits. But a well-rounded exercise routine should also include muscle-strengthening and flexibility activities. Increased bone strength, muscular fitness, and maintaining muscle mass are all benefits of muscle-strengthening activities. Examples of muscle-strengthening activities include weight lifting, using resistance bands, or using your own body weight for push-ups, pull-ups, or sit-ups.
Flexibility activities are also an important part of an exercise routine. Some types of physical activity, such as dancing require more flexibility than others. Perform general stretching exercises or participate in yoga to increase your flexibility. Current guidelines suggest that adults should perform muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms) on two or more days a week.
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