One of the truly great things about living in this day and age is the fact that we’re learning so much about health. It seems that every day, research is teaching us something new.
However, it’s also frustrating that what we’re learning seems to change almost daily. One of the areas which seems to be the most confusing relates to exercise. What should we be doing? How often should we be doing it? For how long? It’s hard to keep it all straight.
So how up-to-date are you on the latest exercise guidelines? Take this quiz and find out!
- So long as you’re getting 30 minutes of exercise a day, you’re as active as you need to be. True or False?
Answer: False! Research has shown that sitting can be as bad for your health as smoking, so just because you get a 30-minute workout in first thing in the morning, doesn’t mean you can stop for the rest of the day. Aim for moving around 10 minutes out of every hour, and try to make sure you spend at least four hours a day not sitting.
- If you’re taking 10,000 steps a day, you don’t need official, planned exercise. True or False?
Answer: False! 10,000 steps is a great goal, and a good way to make sure you aren’t spending too much time sitting. However, just getting your steps in can’t replace a good aerobic workout, especially if you’re just taking a leisurely stroll. You need to get your heart rate up—moderate exercise—for 150 minutes per week, along with staying active. Think in terms of “both” rather than “either/or.”
- Classes like yoga and tai chi may be great for stress relief and mental health, but they don’t do much for your physical health. True or False?
Answer: False! Yes, yoga and tai chi are wonderful for bringing down stress levels, and helping you feel better—but that’s not all they’re good for. The physical benefits include better flexibility, pain relief, better circulation, cardiovascular protection…the list goes on and on. So don’t write off these classes just because you’re not “into that stuff.” Even if your stress levels are fine, try a class for the physical benefits!
- The importance of exercise and activity decreases as you get older, because your fitness level is set by the time you’re 70. True or False?
Answer: False! There is absolutely no truth to this myth. It’s never too late to start thinking about exercise and activity, even if you’ve been a couch potato your whole life. Talk to your doctor about your fitness level and exercise goals so you don’t burn out or injure yourself, then get started!
- If you don’t or can’t exercise for at least 30 minutes straight, there’s no reason to bother. True or False?
Answer: False! There are so many reasons you might not be able to work out for 30 minutes straight, but that doesn’t mean you should skip your work out completely. The goal is 150 minutes per week, or approximately 30 minutes per day. Nothing says they have to come all at once. Break up your exercise routines into 10 minute increments if you need to. Do that three times a day, and you’ve met your goals. Can’t find time during the week? That’s okay, too. Getting your 150 minutes of organized exercise during the weekend works just as well, so long as you’re not sedentary the rest of the time.
- The only type of exercise you really need is aerobic. True or False?
Answer: False! Aerobic exercise may be the foundation of a good workout routine, but it’s far from the only type of exercise you need. Find time to get strength training, balance, and flexibility exercises in every week, as well, for best results.
Now that you know how much exercise and activity you need during the day, and during the week, are you ready to get started? Good for you! And remember, the very best exercise plan is the one you’ll actually do on a regular basis.
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