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150 minutes of exercise is enough, no matter how people get it

Category: General Health

Staying healthy takes hard work and determination - it is not easy. This is why people may benefit from getting regular lab tests that can help show them if they are in good shape. For example, cholesterol blood tests can show individuals whether they have healthy levels or need to re-examine their diet and exercise habits. Some people may not exercise regularly because they feel as though they do not have the time. However, a recent study has found that even if people can only exercise two or three days a week, they could be on their way to a healthy life.

According to scientists from Queen's University, people who exercise for 150 minutes a week over the course of just a few days are just as healthy as those who get those 150 minutes by exercising more frequently.

"The findings indicate that it does not matter how adults choose to accumulate their 150 weekly minutes of physical activity," said researcher Ian Janssen, Ph.D. "For instance, someone who did not perform any physical activity on Monday to Friday but was active for 150 minutes over the weekend would obtain the same health benefits from their activity as someone who accumulated 150 minutes of activity over the week by doing 20-25 minutes of activity on a daily basis."

It does not matter how you do it
To come to their conclusions, the researchers examined more than 2,300 Canadian adults. They had study participants wear accelerometers on their waists to determine how active they were throughout the course of the week. Accelerometers are devices that record how much a person moves every minute.

The scientists said that the bottom line of this study is that adults should aim for 150 minutes of exercise each week - regardless of how they get it. People who cannot make it to the gym every day should not feel as though they will never be able to fall into a healthy exercise routine. They can simply workout for an hour two days a week and then for 30 minutes another day.

How to get what you need
Some people may still be concerned about how they are going to get 150 minutes of exercise a week. However, these individuals just need to get a little creative. For example, people do not have to go running for 150 minutes: They can do a number of different things. The American Heart Association recommends that people start by doing simple things, such as going for walks with their families after dinner or walking the dog a little father and for a bit longer than they normally would. Also, people can look into joining community sports teams in their area. During the summer in particular there may be a lot of community baseball and soccer teams for people of all ages.

Furthermore, people should consider turning the time that they would usually spend sitting on the couch watching television into a time when they are active. They can accomplish this by heading to a gym whenever their favorite TV show is on to watch it while on a treadmill, or going for a walk with headphones on to listen to music or a book on tape.

"Our bodies were designed to be physically active, and they don't do well with long-term exposure to sedentary living," stated Russell Pate, Ph.D., professor in the department of exercise at the University of South Carolina, on the AHA website.

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