Have you every wondered just where the misinformation comes from in the world of health and well-being? I imagine it would be impossible to estimate the number of diet and exercise myths out there, and often it’s very difficult to know what to believe. As a dietitian this is a challenge I face day by day, and I’m often left wondering whether an article I’ve read is credible enough to be used in my daily practice.
Choice are a non-profit organisation, who have committed themselves to researching on behalf of consumers, in an attempt to present the truth. This seems like quite a task! However, they have some really great articles on a range of different topics, and in particular some interesting articles on the myths surrounding exercise.
You’ve probably heard people say, “Anything is better than nothing,” in terms of the amount of exercise required. While this is true, if you’re really serious about achieving better health, a little extra effort may be required.
So, what are your exercise requirements?
The results from the Choice report, Exercising Three Times a Week is Enough, are listed below:
- If you go for a 30 to 40 minute brisk walk, you can temporarily reduce blood sugar, triglycerides and blood pressure levels. So in that sense, just one session can have a benefit.
- People who’ve lost a large amount of weight (20kg or more) seem to require 60 to 90 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day to maintain that weight loss.
- Current government recommendations for good health, suggest exercising 30 minutes or more, at least 5 days each week. These 30 minutes can be made up of several 10 minute sessions. The activity should be strenuous enough to raise our heart, and breathing, rate.
- For even greater health and fitness benefits, government guidelines recommend three or four sessions of vigorous exercise each week, for at least 30 minutes each time, in addition to the moderate exercise mentioned above. This should be continuous, and hard enough to make you puff – where it’s difficult to talk in full sentences without taking a breath.
- Finally, for good all-round physical health, you may want to consider including two or three strength training (weightlifting) sessions per week, as well as a flexibility, and balance program (such as Pilates, or just some gentle stretching), in your exercise routine.
Phew..I’m tired just thinking about all that! However, the bottom line is, we need to be doing at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity, at least 5 times per week. If we can do more than this, we will undoubtedly see the health and fitness benefits.
Thanks to Kathryn of Limes and Lycopene for originally directing me to this article.