Exercising for Optimal Health: A Frequency Guide
Exercising for optimal health is an important part of life. Regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy body weight, reduce stress and improve overall physical and mental well-being. For those looking to get started on a regular exercise routine, understanding the recommended frequency of exercise is essential. This guide will provide an overview of the recommended frequency of exercise to obtain optimal health benefits.
The Benefits of Regular Exercise
Exercising regularly has a multitude of benefits for overall health and well-being. Regular physical activity helps to protect against heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and obesity. It also helps to improve mental health and cognitive function, reduce stress, boost self-confidence and improve overall quality of life.
The Recommended Frequency of Exercise
The frequency of exercise recommended to obtain optimal health benefits depends on the type of exercise being performed. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends the following exercise frequency for adults:
- Aerobic exercise: At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week.
- Muscle-strengthening exercise: At least two days per week of muscle-strengthening activities, which involve all major muscle groups.
- Flexibility exercise: At least two days per week of flexibility exercises, such as stretching.
It is important to note that the ACSM recommends that adults should spread out their exercise frequency throughout the week. For example, if you are doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity, try to do at least 30 minutes of activity five days per week.
Getting Started with Exercise
If you are a beginner to exercise, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase your activity level as you become more comfortable. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine and make sure to start with exercises that are appropriate for your fitness level. It is also important to start with activities that you enjoy so that you are more likely to stick with it. Examples of activities that can be done at low or moderate intensity levels include walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and dancing.
Exercising for optimal health is essential for long term health and well-being. Understanding the recommended frequency of exercise for optimal health is the first step in creating a safe and effective exercise program. Adhering to the ACSM recommendations for aerobic, muscle-strengthening and flexibility exercise will ensure that you get the most out of your exercise routine. If you are a beginner, start slowly and gradually increase your activity level. For more information on exercising for optimal health, visit ACSM.