Regular exercise is an important component of maintaining overall health. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults over the age of 18 engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or some combination of both, every week. Moderate exercise includes activities such as brisk walking or pushing a lawnmower, while vigorous exercise includes activities such as jogging or swimming. Along with aerobic exercise, the CDC recommends participating in a muscle-strengthening activity (working with weights, resistance exercises, etc) at least 2 days a week. Those who have pre-existing health conditions or have not exercised in some time should discuss ways to gradually increase physical activity with a medical provider.

Regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of a number of chronic and potentially disabling illnesses including type II diabetes, hypertension, heart and vascular disease, obesity, depression, and osteoporosis. The American Heart Association offers guidance to help people plan a regular walking program (https://www.heart.org). Additional health benefits may be realized by working your way beyond the minimum guidelines recommended by the CDC and other organizations.

My Pledge

“I will try to increase the amount of exercise I get each week.”