Magazine article Work & Family Life

New Exercise Guidelines Suggest More Is Better

Magazine article Work & Family Life

New Exercise Guidelines Suggest More Is Better

Article excerpt

The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine have updated their guidelines and are now recommending aerobic activity five days a week and at least two days a week of strength training with weights.

The two groups are pushing us a little harder to carve out at least a half an hour a day, five days a week, to jog, swim or do something to get our hearts pumping and our muscles moving.

"If you had a pill that could do everything exercise can, it would be the most amazing thing you could imagine," says physiologist Polly de Mille of the Women's Sports Medicine Center at the Weill Cornell-affiliated Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. "Exercise improves your immune system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, and your psychological health. Everything is affected."

In addition to five days a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, we're encouraged to add two nonconsecutive days of weight training. And while this may sound like lifting barbells in a gym, it's more like a "resistance" exercise involving weight.

For example, says de Mille: "Pushing yourself up from a chair with no help from your legs 15 times is a good workout. …

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