Woman doing some exercise

Ideal Amount of Exercise

Humorist Dave Barry once said, “Albert Einstein discovered that a tiny amount of mass is equal to a huge amount of energy which is why you have to exercise for a week to work off the thigh fat from a single Snickers.” Although this may be a bit of comedic hyperbole, looking at the calorie burn exercise time ratio can be quite disheartening. For example, according to an infographic, a 490 calorie Big Mac will take the average women over an hour of weightlifting to burn. Wash it down with a soda and that’s about two hours of cardio. With those kinds of figures, you could spend the next few years in a never ending cycle of eating and exercising. So where do we draw the line? How do we decide how much exercise is enough and how much is too much? Here are some hard and fast guidelines that will help you find out the ideal amount of exercise for your body.

How Much Exercise Do I Need?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should be getting thirty minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days a week. But the American College of Sports Medicine says that if you’re are doing a high intensity workout, you can cut that number down to 75 minutes a week with strength training and stretching 2 -3 days a week.

For Weight Loss
If you are looking to drop pounds, a study in JAMA Oncology found that 300 minutes of physical activity each week was the best way to obtain the greatest loss of weight and body fat. However, if that number seems a little out of reach to you, there may be other ways of achieving weight loss goals. Lisa Cadmus- Bertram, Ph., assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin explains, “… for most people, there is more room to cut calorie intake than to expend very large numbers of additional calories.” In other words, the key to success is burning more calories than you are taking in, so if you cut down on food intake, you may be able to avoid spending half a day at the gym.

To Tone Up
To add additional tone, incorporate resistance and strength training. This will help to build muscle and also increase the basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories your body will burn calories when it is resting. Also, try to engage in a variety of exercises to challenge your body in different ways.

For Longer Life
By engaging in the 150 minute minute of activity per week with 2 to 3 days of resistance training, you are not only ensuring a fit body, but you are also working to strengthen the lungs and heart, to avoid inflammation and to prevent insulin resistance from developing.

woman sleeping
For Better Sleep
A study of over 2,600 adults found that those who did their recommended amount of physical activity reported a 65% improvement in quality go sleep, were 68% less likely to have leg cramps at night and were 45% less likely to have difficulty focusing when they were tired as compared with individuals that did not get the recommended amount.

In short, aim for 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week and double that if you want to see weight loss results, but in the end it is most important to balance your exercise with food intake and maintain a schedule that works for you. Let us know how you do it. Eat happy and be healthy!

Woman stretching on yoga mat indoors

Exercise and Anti-Aging

It’s pretty much a given that exercise is good for you. It’s one of those ubiquitous pieces of common knowledge that’s been proven so thoroughly it’s rightfully accepted as fact. But did you know that not only is regular exercise beneficial to general health and well-being, but it can also help you to ensure that you age well and live a long, healthy, happy life.

Exercise Fights Disease
Well, not directly, but it can reduce your chances of contracting them. Regular cardiovascular activity strengthens your heart, so it doesn’t have to work as hard keeping your body running smoothly, so to speak, reducing the risk of heart-related diseases. It also, of course, burns calories which can help keep you at a healthy weight, which helps to prevent conditions like diabetes, back pain, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, and much more. Exercising regularly also boosts your mood, so you’re less likely to get depressed or be overly anxious. All of these things, of course, can potentially increase both quality and length of life.

Exercise is the Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory
One of the worst aspects of aging is inflammation. Inflammation becomes more and more of a problem with age and contributes to a lot of the symptoms of old age. Exercise, in the right amount at the right frequency, can actually reduce inflammation and therefore help to forestall many effect of aging.

For the best effect, you need to try for 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. That may sound like a big number, but think about it, it’s only 2 and a half hours…in a whole week! You can accomplish this with 30 minute sessions, once a day, for five days, and then two days off, or with 20 minutes every day, with no days off (unlike strength training, which you should absolutely not do every day or you’ll tear up your muscles, cardiovascular exercise is fine to do every single day).

The other thing to remember is never to overdo it. Studies suggest that regular exercise for more than 30 minutes in a session or expending more than 70% of your maximum effort will actually increase inflammation, the opposite of what you need to age well.

And finally, just remember that if it’s difficult at first, you can and should build up to things gradually. If 20-30 minutes is too much at first, start with 10 a day, and add 5 minutes every week until you get to your goal. You’ll find that what once seemed impossible will be easily doable if you commit to it long term and build up gradually.

Remember that Exercise is Only Half the Equation
Exercise is incredibly important, but you also have to remember to eat right and take care of your body in other ways. So after that workout, don’t forget to shower and re-do your skincare routine! And eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, with very little meat and a lot of leafy greens. And don’t forget to pamper yourself every once in awhile! Feeling good about yourself is just as important to a long, happy life as the physical aspects are.

Couple exercising in the park,.

Benefits of Outdoor Activity

The weather is warming up and the sun is shining brightly on lawns that are once again green and flowers that are in bloom. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t using this weather to our advantage. Many Americans are not participating in regular exercise and some people use the excuse that they aren’t comfortable at an indoor gym. Worry no more because Resveralife found out that taking the exercises outdoors can provide benefits that you just can’t get from an indoor gym.

Works Both Mind and Body
You know that exercise benefits your body and if you keep with a routine you are able to see physical proof that your hard work is paying off. However, you may be unaware of all of the added perks exercising outdoors provides to your mental health. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology suggests that individuals who run outdoors expend more energy than those using a treadmill indoors. The reason for this is that when you run outdoors, you face elements that a treadmill cannot give you such as resistance from a strong wind. Exercising outdoors gives you more challenges and is more strenuous than workouts at your indoor gym and the more energy you exert, the more calories you burn, the easier it is to get in shape.

As mentioned above, the results of exercise are not limited to your outward appearance. One of the greatest outdoor workout extra is the effect it has on your mental health. Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry conducted a study using 800 participants. The results were incredibly positive. Those that exercised outdoors reported increased vitality and memory and a decreased number of negative feelings. Outdoor exercise was proved to lower feelings of anger, depression and tension while a traditional indoor workout session did not result in the same benefits. Additionally, a study in Quebec, Canada by Isabelle Dione suggests that when people exercise outdoors, they are more likely to work out for a longer period of time than those exercising indoors. The constant change of scenery and the beauty of nature eliminate the monotony of staring at your screen or display on the treadmill.

Added Benefits of Sunshine
Calcium is a necessary nutrient to build, and maintain, strong bones. Vitamin D3 is an important factor for both bone health and metabolic function and you can get plenty of D3 by taking your exercises outdoors as sunshine is great provider of vitamin D3. However, there are more benefits to receiving sunlight than getting vitamins and a possible tan. Exposure to sunlight during the day helps your body sleep better at night, increase endorphins and strengthen your immune functions.

Woman exercising in the gym.

Better Than Your Gym
A gym membership is a great thing to have during the winter when it is too cold to take your exercise outside. But once the weather warms up, working out in the great outdoors saves you money. If possible, invest in a six month gym membership and exercise outdoors whenever you have the opportunity. The only costs you incur from exercise when heading outdoors are items that  are most likely already in your home, such as a pair of well-fitting shoes, exercise gear that can handle outdoor weather, and sunscreen. You can also use your favorite mp3 player and playlist to get you more motivated outdoors.

In addition to getting your cardio in outdoors, you can also practice exercises designed to gain strength and build muscle. A park bench is a wonderful and useful item for an outdoor workout. Use it for push-ups, mountain climbers and tricep dips. A little bit of creativity with your outdoor workout not only keeps you challenged, but it provides you with the bonus of increased health from being outside. Lace up your shoes and slather on some sunscreen and enjoy a healthier, stronger way of living.