Research & Insights

How Much and What Types of Physical Activity Do You Need?

Physical activity is anything that gets your body in motion. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans states that both aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises should be incorporated into your physical activity each week. According to the CDC, only 1 in 5 adults meets the Activity Guidelines. So many Americans are missing their physical activity goals. This is a problem because physical activity is a key factor for maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. The CDC explains the importance of physical activity,

“[p]hysical activity can improve health. People who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Physical activity can also help with weight control, and may improve academic achievement in students.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports health related initiatives and topics concerning physical activity, check out their website for more information, HERE.

Aerobic Activity

The CDC recommends 150 mins moderate or 75 mins of vigorous aerobic activity each week. Aerobic activity includes anything that gets your heart rate up and keeps it up. Aerobic, also known as, cardiovascular activity can be completed in small bursts throughout the week. Any activity lasting over 10 minutes that gets your heart pumping can count towards your weekly goal! When tracking your activity minutes, also consider “rate of perceived exertion” or RPE; RPE is a measure of the intensity of work based on how hard it feels like you are working. A good rule of thumb is that moderate activity is enough to increase your heart rate and break a sweat. Cardiovascular exercise is important for supporting healthy heart and lungs. Try walking, jogging, or running, riding a bike, mowing the lawn, or playing your favorite sport.

Muscle Strengthening Activity

In addition to aerobic activity, CDC recommends that adults implement 2 days of muscle strength activity, targeting all major muscles groups, each week. However, minutes spent on strength based activities should not count towards your aerobic activity minutes. To gain the full benefits of your muscle building activities keep working until it would be hard for you to complete another repetition. A good starting range is 8-12 repetitions of each movement. Strength exercise is important for supporting muscle mass and bone density. Try weightlifting, body weight resistance exercise, resistance bands, heavy gardening, or even yoga.

Reaching your physical activities goal each week is an important step in improving or maintaining physical health. 150 minutes a week is about the same amount of time you would spend watching just one movie! So instead, get up and get moving. Gixo offers a variety of class options for both aerobic and strength based exercise, wherever you are. And your Gixo app will even track your exercise minutes for the week. Don’t be a statistic, make achieving these physical activity guidelines part of your weekly plan.