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Where Do You Fit in America's Fitness Picture?

By Sandy Schroeder

The question of American fitness comes up frequently in a world where everybody sits a lot.  If you sit all day, too, are you getting enough exercise? If you are, you are the one American in four who is, according to a new health report from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention in Business Insider.

What Should We Be Doing?

Approved exercise guidelines say healthy adults should do at least 2 1/2 hours of medium intensity activity, or 75 minutes of ultra activity, plus two muscle-strengthening sessions per week. According to the CDC, only 22.9 percent of Americans, ages 18 to 64, met these guidelines from 2010 to 2015.

If you do 30 minutes of exercise per day you meet the CDC’s minimum requirement. Five days of moderate aerobic exercise, such as a 30-minute brisk walk or low-key bike ride satisfies the guidelines. Then two days of strength training, using weights, or bodyweight exercise such as yoga, completes requirements to keep bones and muscles strong.  

To finish everything faster, do 75 minutes of intense exercise, such as a strong run or swim that gets the heart pumping.

So Why Do So Much?

Researchers say using these exercise guidelines can lower the risk of heart disease and other serious illness, such as diabetes, and create mood lifts to fight depression and anxiety.

CDC’s 10 Key Benefits from Exercise

Here are the reasons we all need to keep moving.

Sharpen the brain - Researchers say exercise tunes the brain and the body to boost analytic and memory skills and slow aging’s effects.

Reduce cancer risk - Staying active can lower the risk of many cancers including breast, bladder, endometrium, esophagus, stomach, colon, kidney, lung, and stomach.

Protect bones and muscles - Strength exercises help preserve bone density, ease arthritis pain and lower the risk of hip fractures.

Save money - Regular exercise cuts medical expenses, reducing the cost and misery of obesity, inflammation and illness.

Cut risk of type 2 diabetes - Regular exercise helps people avoid becoming diabetic and fights the effects of diabetes. Staying active helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Avoid stroke and heart attacks - Regular moderate exercise can help you avoid heart disease and strokes, improve cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure.

Stay healthy - Research shows physically active people use fewer sick days. Companies are providing gyms, time for fitness and workplace wellness programs. Or, you can walk before work, after lunch, and mid-afternoon and do a workout or run in the evening.

Mood liftoffs - It’s hard to ignore the mood lift that shows up every time we exercise. Automatic relaxation, better sleep and more positive interactions all come with regular exercise.

Of course, the ultimate benefit of a healthy lifestyle that relies on exercise may be a longer life. Start moving and enjoy your prospects.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Missouri City, Tex.

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