You will hear many conflicting stories about what is required for the best Riverside fitness. Do you have to be a marathon runner or a fitness freak to be in relatively good shape and protect yourself from disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s recommended that every American pack in at least 150 minutes of moderate or strenuous exercise each week. So, in more practical terms, you need to hit the gym for 50 minutes, three times per week. This exercise should be adequate to provide basic disease prevention and weight management benefits, although additional exercise can only help.
“But what about the little exercise we get during our everyday lives?” you may ask. “Doesn’t that count for anything?” And if so, how much does it count? According to a new study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal, even the most mundane activities like walking across the office or hiking up the stairs have positive impacts on our health.
“It’s been thought for quite some time that there’s this minimum threshold you need to perform physical activities at before you can see any health benefits,” says Ashlee McGuire, the study’s lead author. “We saw that incidental physical activities are also associated with improved cardio-respiratory fitness.”
For their study, McGuire and fellow researcher Dr. Robert Ross monitored 135 inactive, obese participants for a week. They measured the intensity and duration of physical activity by using more reliable accelerometers and found that people who did over 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can reduce their cardiovascular disease risk by 15 percent. They can’t say for certain whether low levels of activity benefit the entire population in precisely the same way, but the obese cohort certainly saw noticeable gains, they said.
Researchers admitted they were fearful that the public would take their findings to justify lower levels of physical activity, of course, but they wanted to emphasize making wiser decisions like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a brief walk during breaks.
Naturally, intense interval workouts are the best way to condition the heart and body. However, you can do a lot of little things to increase the activity you get each day, researchers found. Doable steps might include picking up children’s toys during TV commercials, vacuuming daily, or taking walks during meetings rather than sitting in the conference room.
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