Achieving the recommended amount of physical activity

It’s easier than you think!

By Michelle Durante, HeartCORE Program Manager

Every day, the media reminds us through advertisements and news stories to be active and healthy, but what exactly does this mean?

According to the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, it’s recommended that everyone participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on a weekly basis.  This is the level of activity that is required to see health benefits.  As well, the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines suggest 30 minutes of strength training for major muscle groups, 2 times per week.

Why is completing the recommended amount of exercise important?

There is a rise in the percentage of our population who’s facing chronic disease and we know physical inactivity is a major contributing factor.  Being active for at least 150 minutes per week can help reduce the risk of premature death, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, overweight and obesity.

Although we understand the many benefits of becoming more physically active, approximately 50% of us are not meeting the recommended guidelines.  It’s important for us to be increasingly active daily and in turn we will be rewarded with the positive health benefits.

How can you fit exercise into your busy schedule?

When considering how to fit 150 minutes of exercise into an already busy schedule, it can seem impossible, but it’s easier than you think!  Begin by dividing the 150 minutes per week into 30 minutes a day.  Doesn’t that sound more achievable?  Break the time down even further by exercising 3 times daily for 10 minutes each.  That’s a short bike ride, a walk with your dog, or a walk during lunch break.

If you haven’t reached your weekly goal of 150 minutes, try progressively adding physical activity into your daily routine.  Remember, every little bit counts, but more is better.  More physical activity equals greater health benefits.

How can you get started?

HeartCORE at Heart Niagara is dedicated to helping the community achieve the recommended physical activity guidelines. This summer we are not only offering the innovative HeartCORE strength training program, but will also host several physical activity programs.  This will make getting your 150 minutes per week so easy!

For further information about HeartCORE or any of Heart Niagara’s fitness programs call 905-358-5552 or email heartcore@heartniagara.com.

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