Fitness Tips – How Much Exercise Should You Do?

Americans are always wanting to find a short cut. There is no quick fix. Attaining fitness requires a lifestyle change and making the right healthy choices. The most benefits come from cardio-respiratory fitness, and to attain this a regular exercise program is often needed. Failing this, making active choices, such as using a push mower rather than a power mower, and walking to each tee rather than using a golf cart on the golf course, will help one stay fit.

Those who promote fitness exercise are following along the more recent lines of nutritionists’ thinking, he says, which involves behavior modification. If you do not change your behavior and make it a lifestyle change, it’s not going to become a habit.

The message that many experts are starting to put out is: A little bit of exercise is good enough.

How little? All you need, is to expand 285 calories a day – 2,000 calories a week – in activities above and beyond your job.

But if it’s a healthy life you’re interested in, they write, all other things being equal, the gardener’s odds against heart disease are as good as the marathoner’s.

How much exercise you should do depends upon what you want to achieve. If you just want stress reduction, you don’t have to do aerobic exercise,… but you won’t get reduction in the risk of heart disease if you do not meet minimum standards of exercise. That means exercising at 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes at least three times a week. Do less than that and you will never achieve a level of conditioning. You won’t improve.

But being moderately fit is OK. In a paper based on data collected at the researchers showed that the largest difference in mortality – about 60 percent – was between the sedentary and people who were only moderately fit, as judged by performance on treadmill exercise tests.

It’s dangerous to do nothing and easy to do enough.

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Calories burned in a single hour
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The following figures are for a man weighing 180 pounds and a woman weighing 130 pounds.
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Activity Men Women
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Cooking 216 156
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Chopping wood 414 299
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Mowing lawn 486 351
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Scrubbing floors 522 377
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Trimming trees 630 455
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Gardening 576 416
(heavy chores)
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Painting outside 378 273
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Washing the car 270 195
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House cleaning 288 208
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Raking 270 195
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Stocking shelves 270 195
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Window cleaning 288 208
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Fishing 234 169
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