How Much Exercise is Enough? Just 150 Minutes a Week!

Recent studies show that just 2 ½ hours of exercise a week can help keep you healthy and strong.  In fact, that amount can be done over any duration to get the benefits.

“The findings indicate that it does not matter how adults choose to accumulate their 150 weekly minutes of physical activity,” Dr. Ian Janssen, of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, said in a June university news release.

“For instance, someone who did not perform any physical activity on Monday to Friday but was active for 150 minutes over the weekend would obtain the same health benefits from their activity as someone who accumulated 150 minutes of activity over the week by doing 20 to 25 minutes of activity on a daily basis,” he explained.

The key is finding the right balance so you don’t overdo it if you are the kind who likes to squeeze in exercise all at once.  Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. Breathe normally. Holding your breath while straining can cause changes in blood pressure. This is especially true for people with cardiovascular disease. If you have had a hip repair or replacement, check with the doctor who did your surgery before doing lower-body exercises.

If you have had a hip replacement, don’t cross your legs, and don’t bend your hips farther than a 90-degree angle. Avoid jerking or thrusting weights into position. That can cause injuries. Use smooth, steady movements. Avoid “locking” the joints in your arms and legs in a tightly straightened position. (A tip on how to straighten your knees: Tighten your thigh muscles. This will lift your kneecaps and protect them.) Breathe out as you lift or push, and breathe in as you relax.

Remember that exercise is a good thing for you physically and socially.  You will find being in a gym is a great place to meet people.  Wear a t-shirt from your alma mater to get a conversation started.  And although the more frequently you go to the gym, the better the odds of meeting others, “The important message is that adults should aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes of weekly physical activity in whatever pattern works for their schedule,” Janssen said.


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