Physical Activity is the Wonder Drug, but Not Enough People Take This Medication

As obesity rates continue to rise, the problem continues to be people eating too much and exercising too little. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a phone survey in 2010 that shows more people are walking, but not enough to benefit their health. This survey found that 62 percent of adults walk 10 minutes or more per week, which is up from 55.7 percent in 2005. Ten minutes per week of walking is definitely not going to do anything to benefit your health. Most adults can calculate 10 minutes of walking simply doing things around the house each week.

The survey also revealed that 48 percent of adults exercise enough to improve their health. This is up from 42.1 percent in 2005. A total of 23,129 survey responses were analyzed. To put things into perspective, when looking at the 10 minute marker, the CDC recommends 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week to lower your risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and some forms of cancer. This exercise should be aerobic (or cardio) in nature and can easily be done in the form of brisk walking. This amount of weekly activity is also what it takes to maintain weight. If you want to lose weight, 250 minutes of activity or more per week is needed (you have to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound).

When speaking about the survey, CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden told the media, “Physical activity is the wonder drug. It makes you healthier and happier. More Americans are making a great first step in getting more physical activity.” The CDC may call 10 minutes of walking per week progress, but that is still a long way from their recommended 150 minutes of activity per week.

Brisk walking can certainly be a way to help you meet your 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week, but there are several other ways to get that in as well. Things like biking, swimming, taking group fitness classes or playing outside with your kids can all be helpful ways to get some aerobic activity. If you are challenged for time, do some simple things like taking the stairs at work at every opportunity, park further from the door, use public transportation and get off one stop early, or do a workout during your lunch break.

To get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week you only need to devote 25 minutes per day for six days with one day of rest. Carving out 25 minutes of your day to prevent diseases and improve your health is doable, and overall necessary in the long run.

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Source Huffington Post