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How Much Exercise Do You Need?

Written by Terry Nguyen


How much exercise do I really need?


That's a question that has surely has popped into your mind — during especially busy days with no time to hit the gym, weeks at work when you're consigned to your desk, or simply bouts of laziness that can't be helped. (You know how it is.)


Experts from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention say you should get around 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days a week.


Are you getting that much cardio now?  Maybe not.  Although this dictum is supported by sufficient research, many question if a “one-size-fits-all” workout prescription is sensible for individuals of all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. What is right for you? 


If you are sitting a lot at work, know that that adds up, and it's bad. The long-term effects of sitting could negate your workout benefits. Whaat? Yes, it's true, as revealed by this research study from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center.


Each time unit of sitting cancels out eight percent of your gain from the same amount of running. The example provided by the study was if you ran for one hour in the morning, and you sit for 10 hours at work — 80% of your workout benefits in the morning will be negated.


Oh, man.  What are you supposed to do about that? Easy, walk more in addition to your suggested cardio workout. 


Even if you are consigned to a desk for most of your day, small bursts of activity could be helpful in contradicting the effects of prolonged sitting. 


“People who don't exercise can be healthier even if all they do is reduce the amount of time they sit," said Jason Matuszak, a sports medicine specialist to the American Academy of Family Physicians. In addition, he also shared that people who do exercise can be healthier by decreasing their sedentary periods. 


Having an active lifestyle is especially important, in addition to the “recommended” amount of exercise. Individuals who might not exercise as frequently or vigorously but are mindful of their sitting habits could have drastically different health and fitness results from those who are unaware of the effects of sitting. 


Exercise should be consistent in your daily life, in accordance to sitting habits, eating habits, and body size. Overall consistency might not produce the desired effects of a perfect beach body, but in the literal long run, your health could be impacted for the better. 


Got an idea for you:  Try a desk treadmill like the WALK-1. You get to keep the benefits of the run you took in the morning, and punch through your to-do list.