Sunday, August 19, 2007

Exercise Must Mean Exertion If You Want Good Health

Exercise Must Mean Exertion If You Want Good Health

19 Aug 2007

If you want to get any health benefit from exercise you have to push yourself, according to an article published in the journal Circulation. Members of the American College of Sports Medicine wonder whether some people's idea of 30 minutes of gentle exercise might not be just a bit too gentle.

The writers state that for good health you should aim for 30 minutes moderate exercise five days per week, or vigorous exercise could be done three days a week.

The definition of what constitutes the right amount of exercise for good health appears to be a bit nebulous. Brisk walking is classed as moderate exercise while running/jogging is classed as vigorous.

According to the World Health Organization we should do 30 minutes of gentle exercise each day in order to maintain a basic level of fitness.

A recent study, carried out by scientists from Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, found that the fitness and blood pressure benefits of walking 30 minutes a day five times a week were no better than walking 30 minutes three times a week. The writers of this latest article wonder whether this information might not encourage people to exercise too little.

The authors wrote "There are people who have not accepted, and others who have misinterpreted the original recommendation. Some people continue to believe that only vigorous intensity activity will improve health while others believe that the light activities of their daily lives are sufficient to promote health."

The authors believe that people should include both vigorous and moderate exercise, combined with some weight training each week, for example, a mixture of jogging, fast walking and strength exercises. Even brief bursts of physical activity, as long as they are at least ten minutes long are OK, they wrote. If you manage to do more than that you will probably enjoy extra health benefits.

This does not mean you should go full pelt and exercise so much you end up doing yourself harm, the authors stress. Pregnant women and people over 65 years of age should make sure their levels of exercise are measured and well planned.


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