Lose Weight. Gain Muscle. Fit in a Bathing Suit? Prevent Disease?

As we wrap up one year and prepare to start the next, it’s a good time to think about how we want the next year to be better. When it comes to health, what if we approached 2017 New Year’s Resolutions from the perspective of exercise being medicine for disease prevention and less about what size jeans we want to fit in or how we look in a bathing suit? Instead of making a weight-related resolution, which typically makes up 38 percent of American’s New Year’s resolutions, how about this year we chose one simple resolution: Meet the American Heart Association’s (AHA) minimum exercise requirement to improve overall cardiovascular health or lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

American Heart Association Logo

AHA Recommendations for Exercise Is The Perfect 2017 New Year’s Resolution!

For Overall Cardiovascular Health:

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150OR
  • At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activityAND
  • Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

  • An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week

According to the CDC, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health and the health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt. The benefits of exercise can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, reduce your risk of some cancers and more.

So, as you think about 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, just remember that exercise is medicine. As the American Heart Association says, “something is better than nothing.” If you don’t think you’ll make it for 30 or 40 minutes, set a reachable goal for the day. Whether you have an Excy or not, do a quick intense burst in the morning or at work and crank up the resistance for strength training. It all adds up!

Don’t let all-or-nothing thinking rob you of doing what you can every day. Your family will thank you for it!

 

 

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