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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Getting the Right Amount of Exercise

Apr 29, 2019 05:28PM

Similar to dietary choices, there are no hard and fast rules for healthy exercise, but the guidelines given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in their Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is a good start. They recently released the second edition and there is a synopsis by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) at

The recommended amount of aerobic exercise depends on the intensity of the workout; whether it’s moderate or vigorous. The JAMA synopsis describes moderate aerobics as brisk walking and vigorous as running or jogging. Three options for aerobic exercise per week are 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise; 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise; or the equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity.

With a roughly two-to-one ratio of moderate to vigorous, if we choose the third option, such as 30 minutes of intense biking and a 90-minute fast-paced neighborhood walk, that meets the requirements for one week.

Exercising our muscles is also important. The JAMA synopsis summarizes that we need exercises that involve all major muscle groups; the exercise interval must be at least two days each week; and the intensity level should be at least moderate.

If we don’t belong to a gym or have home fitness equipment, here are some local options.

  • Malls: enjoy an outdoor walk, walk up escalators or safely take the stairs
  • Membership warehouses: take a shopping cart around the entire perimeter of the store
  • Greenways: walk or bike one of the many greenways in the Charlotte region
  • Mountains: enjoy an afternoon outing of cardio hiking near Charlotte at Crowders Mountain; check out the famous bridge at Grandfather Mountain; or reach the highest peak east of the Mississippi River while still enjoying a moderate hike at Mount Mitchell

Dr. Michael Smith, a Naturopathic Physician, is the founder of Carolinas Natural Health Center, located at 1114 Sam Newell Rd., Ste. A, in Matthews. For more information, call 704-708-4404 or visit

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