Science reveals how much you really need to exercise to see health benefits

Image credit: Shutterstock - By lzf

With the new year upon us and resolutions in full swing, getting healthy is likely to be at the top of your to-do list for 2018.

But what does “healthy” really look like? What do we have to do to feel satisfied with our health?

After all, there are as many exercises and diets on the planet as there are people on the planet? How are we to know what will work for us?

If you are like most people, you have probably tried to lose weight or improve your health before.

And if you are like most people, you’ve probably seen less than desirable results or no results at all.

Part of the problem is that people don’t know what to strive for: we all want to have bikini beach bodies, but we don’t want to give up our lifestyles to achieve those bodies.

Luckily, science has been busy trying to figure out the magic formula to help us see health benefits, depending on your goals.

1) Reduce Your Risk of Type II Diabetes

Millions of Americans are diagnosed with Type II Diabetes each year. The number of people who have been diagnosed with Diabetes is staggering, and it continues to climb, including the diagnosis of childhood Diabetes. While there is a lot we can do to treat Diabetes, it cannot be cured. The best medicine is prevention.

If you want to reduce your risk of becoming diabetic, you should commit to exercising for 30 minutes a day, 3 times per week. You can break this up into smaller workouts throughout the week if that suits your lifestyle better, but it seems like a small price to pay to avoid Diabetes.

2) Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

You’d be hard-pressed to find something on earth that doesn’t cause cancer these days, but if you are like most people, you are trying to manage that risk in a realistic way.

After all, how many of us don’t know someone with cancer?

If getting healthy is on your to-do list this year, you’ll want to incorporate 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

That might sound like a lot of time, but it’s about 20 minutes of activity every day.

Moderate exercise is the kind of exercise that makes you feel out of breath and sweat a little but is not exhaustive. Brisk walking or swimming is considered moderate exercise.

3) Want to Manage Depression Symptoms? Walk.

If you are feeling blue and can’t seem to kick the feeling that something is wrong, get outside for some fresh air.

Studies have shown that exercise, including walking, can have a profound impact on the improvement of depression symptoms.

Strive to walk 175 minutes each week. That’s just over 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. You can achieve this number by walking on your lunch break at work.

4) Your Risk of Developing High Blood Pressure

With as little as 120 minutes a week of aerobic exercise, you can greatly reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure.

You can also reduce high blood pressure with fast walking, swimming, running, and aerobics a few times a week.

5) Improve Memory

If you want to sharpen your mind and body, get into the routine of exercising 90 minutes each week.

While there are numerous physical benefits to exercise, mental improvement is great too. You’ll find you have better focus, communication skills, and you’ll feel less stressed out all the time.

In fact, memory improvement is a positive side effect of exercise in general, and you can expect this with any exercise you do over a long period of time.

6) Reduce Your Risk of Premature Death

Say what now? You want to live a long and happy life? Doesn’t everybody? If you want to improve your lifespan and access your optimal health, you’ll want to schedule in 450 minutes of exercise each week.

Sound like a lot of work? It’s just over an hour a day, 7 days a week. And it includes all type of exercise.

So what’s the bottom line? Exercising every day improves your lifespan and increases your quality of life and health overall. Continued exercise is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping your body in good working order.

Lachlan Brown