In middle school, you more than likely took a health class. In that class, they told you that diet and exercise was the best way to stay healthy. That hasn’t changed over the years, regardless of how long ago you were in school. What does change over the years that people get confused about is how much physical activity you need. The requirement depends on which organization you look at. There are some that say 5-7 days of moderate physical activity and then there are others that say 3 days of low to moderate exercise.

physical-activityI think the first thing that needs to be done is you need to define what Physical Activity actually is: From an earlier post, Physical Activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that result in energy expenditure. In real life, physical activity is basically anything that you break a sweat doing. Walking the dog, playing with the kids, joining a softball team, anything!

But how much are you suppose to get? Really, whatever you can. 5-7 days of moderate physical activity, according to the ACSM, is optimal for great health benefits. But if you can do 3 days, that is better than zero days.

Honestly, though, you should not really say “5 days” or “7 days” or anything else. You should try to just make physical activity part of your life. If you put to much emphasis on trying to get enough days of physical activity in during the week, more than likely, you will say something like “I will just get my 5th day in tomorrow” or ” If I take today off, I will go the next 5 days”. And due to human nature, you more than likely will not hit what you want to. Instead, just make physical activity part of your lifestyle. Be active. Live active. Start walking every morning. Join a sport league. Start hiking. Whatever it is, just start living a healthy, active lifestyle and you will start living a healthier life. But if you must put a number on it, shoot for 5-7 days of moderate physical activity for optimal health improvement. But also make sure your diet is in check. A good, active lifestyle doesn’t mean anything if you are eating crap. But that is another post for another day. Have an awesome day.