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How to Calculate Physical Activity Level

By Nicki Howell

Physical activity has many benefits, including an increased mood, weight loss and increased energy levels, according to MayoClinic.com. Regular physical activity may also provide protection against some health issues such as Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer. But you might be wondering how much physical activity is enough to enjoy health benefits. Calculating physical activity requirements will depend on your age. Understanding these requirements will assist in improving your overall health.

Calculate physical activity levels for children. Children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exercise should be moderate such as brisk walking or running. At least three days of muscle-strengthening activities such as gymnastics or strength training exercises should be scheduled. Activities that strengthen the bones, like running or jumping rope, should also be scheduled.

Determine activity level for adults. Adults need a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity weekly such as brisk walking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Or adults can choose 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, like running or jogging. Strength training is also needed at least two days a week.

Calculate physical activity for older adults. Adults age 65 and older and in good health should get at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate physical activity daily. Or older adults can choose one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Use online video clips if you need assistance planning strength training sessions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers free clips on their website. You can also join a group exercise class to get tips on effective exercises.

Use short intervals. If a 30-minute daily session is too much, break up sessions into smaller chunks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breaking exercises into shorter intervals, such as two 15-minute sessions daily, is as effective as longer sessions.

Tip

Choose fun activities. Choosing activities that you enjoy, such as playing tennis or biking, will assist in sticking to a physical activity routine. Workout with a friend to keep your motivation high.

Warnings

Always talk with your doctor before calculating your desired physical activity level. She can evaluate your current health and make recommendations based on your situation.

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