Are the exercise guidelines optimal for good health?


You may already be familiar with the minimum guidelines but there isn’t a specific measurement for how much exercise is optimal for good health.


Longevity researchers are often asked about the perfect amount and the best type of exercise. None of them have a clear answer but in a recent discussion, they provided some insights based on their latest research.



Guidelines for optimizing your exercise routines



1/ How much exercise should you do?



Your cells love movement and more is generally better than the minimum. How much more depends on your body.



2/ What are the minimum guidelines?



The World Health Organization [WHO] recommends 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate physical activity or 150 minutes of high intensity exercise or some combination of moderate and high intensity activity each week. Additionally, two strength training activities are recommended each week.



3/ Is there such a thing as too much exercise?



While not specified with an exact metric, your body will give you signals such as pain, inflammation and stress fractures when you’re getting too much.


In fact, a leading Vascular surgeon, Frank Arco MD recently shared a paper about a condition called external iliac artery endofibrosis resulting from “too much exercise”. The health risk is common in endurance athletes and avid cyclists but is a risk for other athletes as well.


For now, the best thing to do is to listen to your body and think about your long term goals. Dial back on the duration and intensity of your workout routine when you start getting signals from your body.



4/ What counts as exercise?



Exercise is generally thought of as a structured workout routine but it is defined as an activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. The definition allows for a broader range of activities including housework, yard work, gardening etc.



5/ What is the best type of exercise?



The best type of exercise is the one that you enjoy doing. Getting a variety of activity is important too so that you develop strength, flexibility and balance.



Three simple ways to incorporate exercise into your day



1/ Take the stairs rather than the elevator



2/ Squat rather than bend to pick up things from the floor



3/ Stand on one foot while brushing your teeth. Don’t forget to alternate sides to avoid imbalances.

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