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How Active Do You Need to Be?

According to research, 50% of colon cancer cases could be prevented by a simple increase in physical activity. Similarly, 50% of Type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and several types of cancer are avoidable with something as simple as walking at a speed of three miles per hour. The amount of exercise needed? Just thirty minutes a day of moderate intensity would lead to a drastic cut in these costly, life-threatening diseases.

The benefits of activity aren’t just about your physical health. It affects your brain, too, with a report that shows high levels of physical activity mean a reduction in your chance of having Alzheimer’s, dementia or cognitive impairment.

The Connection to Your Heart Rate

The best goal is to aim for an hour of aerobic activity per day, though 30 minutes can be hugely beneficial, too. The aerobic zone of your heart rate equals 70-80% of its maximum capacity. A simple equation can be used to calculate the aerobic zone: take 220 minus your age to find your maximum heart rate.

Or, if you’re out on a walk and can just barely manage to carry on a conversation, it’s a good sign that you’re in the aerobic fitness zone.

Are You One of the 24%?

With an impactful decrease for so many types of illness, it’s disheartening to think that 70% of adults in the U.S. don’t get their 30 minutes a day. Even worse, 24% report that they do no physical activity. When you think about those statistics, it’s no wonder that people in the world are getting sicker, taking more medications and are unable to regain their health.

The human body is built for daily physical exertion. Enjoy living with vitality by getting your 30-60 minutes a day in. Some easy Talk to a family member or friend and suggest you meet regularly for walks, consider investing in a treadmill, walk to work, or make being out with the family dog your new hobby.


References

Chakravarthy MV and Booth FW. Eating, exercise, and “thrifty” genotypes: connecting the dots toward an evolutionary understanding of modern chronic diseases. J Appl Physiol 96: 3–10, 2004.

Ratey, JJ. Spark: the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain. 2008. Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY 10017

Booth et al. Waging war on physical inactivity: using modern molecular ammunition against an ancient enemy J Appl Physiol 93: 3-30, 2002.

Eaton & Eaton. An Evolutionary Perspective on Human Physical Activity: Implications for Health. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A 2003 (136) 153-159.

Mu, J, Brozinick JT, Jr, et al. A role for AMP-activated protein kinase in contraction- and hypoxia-regulated glucose transport in skeletal muscle. Mol Cell 7: 1085-1094, 2001.

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