Accumulate 150+ min of Moderate Intensity or 75+ min of Vigorous intensity Physical activity per week
This is where the Australian national physical activity guidelines start to have some substance! Previously we explored how doing something is better than doing nothing and how we need to be consistent and aim for daily physical activity – but we must recognise that this is a start – but by no means the end! As our fitness improves we need to be aiming to reach a minimum of 150 min of moderate intensity physical activity per week.
Why this much?
Because research tells us that by doing this much exercise we can get the greatest improvement in mortality risk for the smallest amount of effort! In other words – we get more bang for our buck! At 150 min per week we can reduce our mortality risk by 31%! The best news is that these benefits are despite age, gender, smoking status, body mass index, education, marital status, alcohol intake and a previous history of heart disease or cancer! So it doesn’t matter who you are, you can expect to improve your life expectancy just by reaching a minimum of 150 min of moderate intensity or 75 min of vigorous intensity physical activity per week!
How do I know how much I Exercise?
Have you put much thought into how much moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity you have done lately? Would you say that you reach this target regularly? More importantly, what are some simple changes that you could make to step things up a bit? Some of the biggest barriers to physical activity I come across through my clinic work are these statements:
- “I am busy all the time” or
- “I don’t sit around all day” or
- “I do enough in my day”
Yes, being active throughout the day is important. Yes, being able to do all of you activities of daily living is also important. But my concern is that in our everyday life there is no element of progression – no improvement in fitness or strength – in fact, there is a decline when we continue to do the same thing all the time! If you are not meeting the 150 min of physical activity then that is a real concern for your overall health and testing this is so easy! Simply add up all of the minutes you spent being moderately or vigorously active (i.e. where you were puffing moderately, or puffing heavily). If it is less than 150 min, then we have some work to do! If this is you, then support is only a click away!
1. Aren, H., Moore, S., Patel, A., Hartge, P., Berrington, A., de Gonzalez, P., Visvanathan, K., Campbell, P., Feedman, M., Weiderpass, E., Olov Adami, H., Linet, M., Matthews, C. Leisure Time Physical Activity and Mortality A Detailed Pooled Analysis of the Dose-Response Relationship. JAMA Intern Med. 2015: 175(6): 959-967. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.0533