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Monday, April 26th, 2010 - 11:21 am

Fit Tip

By JOHN BOBALIK

John Bobalik, MS, HFS, SSFI, is coordinator of Purdue Calumet’s campus-based Fitness Center, a comprehensive exercise and workout facility for students, faculty, staff and community residents. He also is an exercise physiologist, Health and Fitness Specialist, and SilverSneakers Fitness Instructor/Healthways.

Fit Tip Dude Exercising

Q. Are there guidelines regarding the amount of physical activity required to accrue health benefits?

A. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2008 published a document entitled, “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,” suggesting substantial health benefits can be gained by following its recommendations for exercise.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  1. Adults (aged 18-64) should engage in 2 hours and 30 minutes or 150 total minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. Moderate-intensity exercise is physical activity performed at 50 to 70 percent of one’s maximum heart rate. During such a level of intensity, the exercise is carried on at a comfortable pace, such that an exerciser can carry on a conversation.
  2. An option for adults (aged 18-64) is to engage in 1 hour and 15 minutes or 75 total minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Vigorous-intensity exercise is physical activity performed at 75 to 90 percent of one’s maximum heart rate. When exercising at this level of intensity, a person would be unable to carry on a conversation.
  3. Adults (18-64) also can engage in an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
  4. Additional health benefits are provided by increasing to 5 hours or 300 total minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 2 hours and 30 minutes or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination of both.
  5. Additionally, adults (18-64) should engage in muscle strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups on two or more days per week.