You Exercising Enough?
Fitting in tennis or pickup basketball once in a while is just peachy.
It's fun, you get out of the house and keep out of trouble, and
you get to rub rackets or shoot hoops with friends.
But as far as fitness and health benefits go, don't count on reaping
just rewards if breaking sweat is regularly on the backburner.
little bit does a little bit, but more significant exercise means
physiological changes," Jack Goodman, a University of Toronto professor
of exercise physiology, says about how much exercise is enough.
Regular exercise has come to mean getting in at least 30 minutes'
worth of movement three times a week, or enough activity to get
the heart going at a good rate every other day.
It's the most effective way to keep insulin levels in check (which
is important in preventing and controlling diabetes), prevent certain
cancers, boost heart and circulatory health as well as immune-system
function, lower cholesterol and strengthen bones. The psychological
benefits include reduced stress and anxiety and a boosted self-esteem.
Only about one-third of Canadians are active enough to get such
health benefits, according to the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle
Research Institute. Goodman, who helped develop exercise guidelines
for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, says intensity is the key to
tell people to go out and breathe heavily and induce a sweat, but
to still be able to maintain conversation" while being active.
That weekly basketball or tennis game, added to walking to the store
instead of driving, or climbing stairs instead of using an elevator,
can go a long way towards keeping you mobile and healthy.
Remember this too: If you don't use it, you not only lose
it, but risk being worse off when you get back in the exercise saddle.
Weekend workout warriors are at high risk of injury because they're
not primed for the physical punishment.
For optimal health, it's best to accumulate 60 minutes of light
physical activity - like light walking, volleyball, easy gardening
It also points out that people who work out more vigorously, like
doing brisk walking, biking, swimming or water aerobics, need only
go at it 30 to 60 minutes a day to achieve the same results. Once
you get to more vigorous activity, like aerobics, jogging, sprinting
or racing, time needed drops to less than 30 minutes - to get optimal-health
activity doesn't have to be very hard to improve your health," says
the handbook. "After three months of regular physical activity,
you will notice a difference - people often say getting started
is the hardest part."
To get the most health benefits, mix endurance movement (such as
walking and swimming), with stretching and strength (like weight-training)