National Nutrition Month, Week 4: Exercise

By Dillon Altonen, 2018 Dietetic Intern – Iowa State

For the last week of our National Nutrition Month blog posts, we have some information for you about exercise! Regular exercise is incredibly important for our physical and mental health.

The general recommendations for exercise, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, include the following:

  • Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week.
    • 30 minutes per day is recommended, but feel free to spread this activity throughout your week however you would like!
  • Strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
    • Don’t have weights? Common household items such as bottles/jugs of water and soup cans can also be used.

Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, swimming and mowing the lawn, or any activity you can hold a conversation while doing. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes activities such as running, aerobic dancing or activities where you cannot talk without catching your breath between words. Strength training can include use of weight machines, your own body weight, resistance bands, resistance paddles in the water or activities such as rock climbing.

Minnesota winters can make it hard to get in your activity. Outdoor activities like cross country skiing, snow shoeing and even shoveling can provide a great workout to keep us in shape during the cold months.

There are little things you can incorporate during the work day as well for some physical activity. Desk-bound jobs leave a lot of us sitting most of our day, so including short bouts of movement – something as simple as walking to the water station or using a standing desk – can help increase your activity.


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