About 5 million deaths worldwide can be attributed to physical inactivity each year, according to a study in the journal Lancet. That’s about the same number of deaths that are attributed to smoking.
You probably already know that smoking is bad for you and quitting is good for your health. But if you are not used to exercising on a regular basis, you may not realize the damage it can also be doing to your health.
If you’re not exercising, you’re putting yourself at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and other deadly illnesses. This is true no matter how much you weigh.
To avoid the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, adults should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. You should also do muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you work out more vigorously, for instance you run instead of walk, the recommendation is at least 75 minutes each week plus the muscle strengthening activities.
Moderate-intensity aerobic activity means you’re working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. One way to tell is that you’ll be able to talk, but not sing the words to your favorite song. Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity means you’re breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you’re working at this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.
By exercising for 30 minutes on most days of the week, you can reduce your risk of heart disease, as well as other chronic illnesses. Even if you can’t get in a full block of activity at once, doing some activity is always better than doing nothing. Look for ways to add more activity to your day. Park farther from your destination, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk in place while watching television or take your dog for a stroll around the block. These short stints of activity add up throughout the day.
By participating in this quiz, or screening or health assessment, I recognize and accept all risks associated with it. I understand that the program will only screen for certain risk factors and does not constitute a complete physical exam. For the diagnosis of a medical problem, I must see a physician for a complete medical exam. I release Deborah Heart and Lung Center and any other organization(s) involved in this screening, and their employees and agents, from all liabilities, medical claims or expenses which may arise from my participation. Thank you for investing in your health by participating today.