According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), less than 5% of adults engage in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, with only 1 in 3 adults attaining the recommended weekly levels. In addition, only 28% to 34% of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 years are physically active, compared with 35% to 44% of those 75 years of age or older.
Slogging it out on the treadmill may seem like a chore to many, but luckily there are less arduous (and more fun) ways to exercise.
Whether it’s called peregrination, perambulation, or sauntering, most people end up walking at some point during the day. By simply increasing the amount of daily steps from 4,000 to 8,000, you can significantly decrease all-cause mortality risks, according to the results of an observational study published in JAMA. However, walking speed did not appear to affect the results, so try at your own pace.
If you have a green thumb and long to be at one with verdant environs, gardening may be the perfect exercise. According to experts at Texas A&M University, even less strenuous forms of gardening, such as weeding, trimming, and raking, can burn nearly 300 calories per hour. Lifting, tilling, raking, and spading can enhance muscle tone and strength.
You don’t have to be a professional to enjoy the pleasures and health benefits of dancing. People from all walks of life and cultures rumba, tango, and cha-cha-cha.
In addition to boosting feel-good neurotransmitter levels, including endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and serotonin, moderate-intensity dance also decreased the risk of heart disease more so than walking, in one pooled analysis.
Swimming is the fourth most popular sport in the United States, and researchers have found that people enjoy exercising more in the water than they do on land. People can also spend more time exercising in water with less impact on joints.
According to the CDC, swimming for just 2.5 hours per week can reduce the risk for chronic illness. Swimming also improves the health of those with diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and mood disorders.
Birds do it, bees do it, and people can burn calories doing it.
Sex—among other things—is a form of exercise. One low-powered study found that men burned an average of 101 kCal total or 4.2 kCal/min during intercourse, compared with about 69 kCal total or 3.1 kcal/min for women.
With a little creativity and the proper motivation, attaining the proper amount of exercise each week is possible, even with the busiest of schedules.
Vũ Quốc Duy M.D.