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Hi this is Dr. Emily Parke with your Health Minute for today. Today I’d like to talk about the ultimate goals for movement and exercise. They are two separate categories. The movement piece refers to that ultimate goal of about 10,000 steps a day of movement. Now it’s not perfect because it doesn’t include things like biking, swimming, rowing for example, but it does give you a goal in mind, a goal to reach for movement during the day. So that’s movement. So that just is what should be happening every day. Now it doesn’t have to be perfect. If there’s days where you’re less active, but let’s say you go on a huge hike over the weekend and you get 20,000 steps that day, it’s really more of that 70,000 steps a week average that I’ml looking for, for movement.

Then on top of that there’s the exercise piece. The current recommendations for exercise are about 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise. Now, what is moderate intensity? Moderate intensity means your heart rates up a little bit, you’re sweating a little bit and it’s a little bit hard to breathe. You shouldn’t be able to carry on a full conversation, but you might be able to say a few words in a row without having to stop. So that’s the definition of moderate intensity exercise.

Now we can get really specific with goals for exercise depending on age, health goal, current fitness level, ability, there’s a lot of things that go into what would be the best exercise for you, but the best place to start is the exercise that you’ll do. We can get more specific as we go on in your patient plan because, for example, there’s very good data on weight lifting, resistance training. Very, very good for balance, osteoporosis prevention, of course increasing the muscle mass is, it has many studies showing that it’s a good health marker.

So resistance training is never a bad idea, but really to get started, all I’m interested in is some form of exercise that fits into the moderate intensity category. Get your heart rate up, breathing a little bit heavy, and sweating a little bit. That would be the ultimate starting place and we can move on to more specific goals as your health continues to progress. This is Dr. Emily Parke with your Health Minute for today.

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