United States government statistics are showing that almost 80% of adults don’t get enough exercise.
Physical activity, when performed on a regular basis, can not only help to reduce the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, it can also prevent early death, fight depression, help prevent cognitive decline, and aid in lower the cancer risks in some cases. Despite the fact that regular physical activity and exercise presents these and a litany of other health benefits, an overwhelming majority of American adults don’t get enough exercise according to newly released federal statistics.
The journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published their findings and found that of adults 18 and over in the United States 79% did not meet physical activity guidelines. Physical activity guidelines in the United States suggest either 2 1/2 hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 1 1/4 hours a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity in addition to incorporating muscle strength training at least two days a week.
Additional findings of the study included:
- 29% meet the muscle-strengthening guidelines
- 52% meet the aerobic activity guideline
- Many variations in meeting the guidelines existed across states.
Additionally troublesome may be separate research that suggests that an even smaller percentage of American adults meet these guidelines; the National Cancer Institute estimate that less than 5% of adults may be getting at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity.
You may feel that you simply don’t have the time during your day to work in an extra bit of activity; with the commute to job, a full work day, the commute home, spending time with your loved ones, making dinner, running errands, and the desire to sit down a relax for a few minutes before falling asleep, there just may not seem to be enough hours in the day. How can you work in those minimum requirements to help you stay happy and healthy? Here are a few ideas:
- Take 30 minutes each day for five days a week to go for a nice brisk walk in your neighborhood. Incorporate a regimen of sit-ups and push-ups on the remaining two days or do them on the same days that you walk.
- Go for a run three days a week for 25 minutes and do muscle-strengthening exercise by lifting weights on two days.
- Find a sport that you want to participate in and incorporate into a weekly routine. Whether you enjoy tennis, biking, baseball, basketball, or any other sport make it a common part of your week.
While you may not initially feel the results of your efforts, after weeks and months you will likely notice the difference and wonder why you ever found it so difficult to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
By Michael Omidi MD