Can You Give 150 Minutes Per Week to Your Health?

By Dr Christian Millward

We are constantly talking about the recommendation that you spend 150 minutes every week in mild to moderate activity. That doesn’t change if you’re ten or ninety. 

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​Getting active for thirty minutes, five days a week will reduce all the leading causes of mortality, including high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some kinds of cancer. It can also help with depression and sleep problems.

So here are some tips for getting your 150 minutes a week
  • Break your exercise into ten-minute intervals if you don’t have a 30-minute block. You can also work exercise into your daily activities. Walk when you golf. Mow the lawn. Do some moderate house chores. Studies show that dog walkers get between 150 and 160 minutes of exercise a week. 
  • Mix it up. Swimming, biking, and running are a great combination because they use different muscle groups. But they aren’t the only options. Take a brisk walk or play pickle ball. The most important thing is to find something you like and just do it.
  • Exercise with a friend. You’re more likely to get up early for a walk or run if someone is waiting for you.
  • Remember the ‘Rule of Too.’ Don’t go too fast or do too much too soon. You need to work up to it, especially as you age. Just because you ran a 10 K ten years ago, that doesn’t mean you can run a marathon next month. If you do start feeling aches, as long as they are minor, you can generally just work through it. If the pain is intense or sharp or if it affects your gait or stroke, then it’s a good idea to see a doctor and make sure you’re not doing damage.
So often, people are looking for a pill to solve their health problems. But exercise is absolutely the key to solving many of the health problems that we deal with.

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