Long Life and Health
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How Much Exercise Is Needed for Good Health?

When asked how much exercise is necessary for results and good health, you will find a wide range of answers.

Most often, you will see that the majority of experts are in agreement that 30 minutes of physical exercise at a time is best for most people. 

The 30-minute-a-day standard applies to people doing moderate-level exercises. Recently, this standard has been challenged as experts have discovered that much smaller exercise periods can also benefit. 

Some of the tests considered longevity – which is one of the primary reasons to exercise. Other than helping you look better, regular exercise adds to your overall health, which can increase how long you live.

The key to short exercise intervals, possibly as short as three minutes a day, is to give it a powerful burst of energy during those minutes. Without it, you may not benefit at all.

Researchers that agree with the shorter time frame are not saying that the short period of exercise is ideal. Rather, they agree that even a little exercise is better than none – if that is all you can do.

Exercise is best if it reduces the length of time you are sitting. If you want to lose weight, though, you are apt to need to spend longer periods of exercise. When exercising for short bursts of five minutes at a time, an option is to perform multiple 5-minute repetitions of the same exercise throughout the day.

Any exercise, though more is better, can help reduce some potential health problems caused by physical inactivity. Being overweight can lead to physical issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These health problems, and more, help determine how long you can expect to live.

If you are overweight and want to lose weight fast, short workouts will help, but you will see better and faster results if you go for longer exercise periods. You may want to start slow, but increase the time spent exercising as you go.

Recommendations for weight loss are 150 to 250 minutes per week on moderate to high-intensity exercise. 

If you are older, losing muscle mass will be a natural occurrence. Whatever exercise you choose, you will need to add some strength training exercises to help retain muscle mass. It should include using resistance bands or weights – or your body weight. Strength training helps strengthen your bones and joints and may even help to reduce arthritis pain.

Keeping your heart strong and healthy is also essential for longevity. It requires that you get your heart pumping faster with moderate or high-intensity exercises.

Remember that cardiovascular disease is one of the primary killers in the U.S. Strengthening your heart requires strength and resistance training for a minimum of two days per week.

The length of time you should exercise each day depends on your goals. If you have not been exercising and are out of shape, you want to start slow, then slowly increase your time and repetitions.

Depending on the type of exercise you are doing on a particular day may also determine how long you should exercise. If you are doing high-intensity intervals (HIIT) workouts, these ought to be shorter than more moderate exercise periods.

When you exercise, you also exercise for mental health. As your heart rate increases, so does your blood flow. It sends more nutrition to your brain, which helps keep it healthy, and decreases your risk of developing dementia. 

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