Previous research has indicated that getting 30 minutes of exercise per day leads to good health. But, Australia's new physical activity guidelines are now suggesting that this is not enough.
Australian guidelines have previously recommended that a person should get 150 minutes per week of exercise to stay in good health. But, new guidelines have been released, and now recommend that 300 minutes per week is necessary to keep your body in good condition.
Getting the recommended 300 minutes per week can decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by nearly 40%. This means that if you exercise at a moderate intensity, you can experience significant health benefits.
If you are not already at that level, you should try to reach it for best results. Moderate intensity is that you are exerting some effort, but still able to carry on a conversation.
These new recommendations are somewhat of a wakeup call for people who are meeting the minimum requirements.
The average Australian is gaining weight at around 0.5 kg per year, this can really add up to a substantial amount of weight gain and lead to obesity and other serious health problems.
With the new guidelines in place, researchers are hoping that more people will have healthier lifestyles and there will be a lower incidence of health issues moving forward.
Wendy Brown, one of the lead researchers, states, "If you prevent weight gain, you prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease and several cancers as well."
Although it takes more than just 300 minutes weekly exercise to prevent these problems, it is definitely a step in the right direction.
"Around the world there has been amazing interest. Researchers and leading scientists are saying 'that's fantastic, it's about time somebody bit the bullet'. I thought at the time we are putting our heads on the block a bit here but it needs to be done."
For people who find it difficult to fit in the full 300 minutes per week, there are options. You can choose to work out at a more vigorous intensity, which also has significant health benefits.
Vigorous exercise is defined as putting forth significant effort, and being unable to maintain a conversation because you are breathing much heavier than during moderate exercise.
You can do vigorous exercise for about half of the time recommended for moderate exercise, and get similar benefits. So, for those who are very busy, 150 minutes of vigorous exercise may do the trick.
The idea is to make sure that you get the exercise on a daily basis, because you will not reap the same benefits if you fit the entire 150 or 300 minutes into only one or two days.
Says Brown, "We all make choices about how we spend our time. It's a question of prioritising what's important."
Another important conclusion from the study explains that there is now evidence that points to long periods of sitting as a factor for developing Type 2 diabetes as well as other chronic health problems.
Avoiding long periods of sitting, and fitting in resistance or weight training twice per week can help you stay healthy as you age by preserving muscle mass, keeping your heart strong and helping to maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t worry about making it to the gym, this is something that can even be accomplished at home! Lift heavy things, do pushups, or try squats and lunges. Everything counts!
http://www.mayoclinic.org/exercise/expert-answers/faq-20057916; Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net