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DON’T OVERTHINK YOUR EXERCISE: How research shows 2.5 hours of any activity a week can help you live longer

We’ve all been there. You walk into the state-of-the-art shiny new community gym and are immediately overwhelmed with what to do. Or maybe you’ve heard all your coworkers discuss this new intense cycle-zumba-pilates-boxing hybrid class they’ve started. While some of these fitness trends may be effective, all seem to be expensive and overwhelming. Luckily research shows that just 150 minutes of exercise per week can be effective at prolonging life and lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease. More importantly is that it does not seem the “exercise” matters, studies have shown everything from working out in the gym to cleaning your house can be effective at improving your cardiovascular health. Here are a couple recommendations we give out in the clinic to improve health and fitness:

 

  • Find a (positive) workout buddy:  not only is working out in groups a great way to keep each other accountable and consistent with your program, but studies show when you give your training partner positive encouragement, you improve their performance by 15%. Conversely negative feedback can decrease performance, so be nice to your workout partner!
  • Look for ways to make everyday activities challenging: like the title suggests, exercise does not have to be complicated. Going out to dinner? Just park a little further away and walk the parking lot. Try a walking lunch at work to get out of your cubicle. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Watching TV? Try standing up and sitting down for the length of a commercial and track how many you get.
  • Find the exercise YOU enjoy doing: just because your spouse enjoys exercising in a group aerobics class doesn’t mean its right for you. The best exercise is the one you will do regularly. Sometimes it means going through a little trial-and-error and putting yourself out there trying new things, but if you stick with it your body will thank you!

 

Remember, exercise should be FUN and SIMPLE. Don’t worry about overthinking it or paying a mortgage to be healthy. Hope these suggestions have helped, we look forward to helping you give live long and healthy lives!

Stay Healthy,

Cole Racich, PT, DPT, OCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist