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For 150 minutes a week, do this to live a long and healthy life

Cone Health experts say the key to a long and healthy life is exercise! If it sounds intimidating, it doesn't have to be.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — You hear it all the time - exercise is the key to a long and healthy life. 

If that sounds intimidating, it doesn't have to be. Dr. SaraBeth Early with Cone Health Primary Care & Sports Medicine at Drawbridge Parkway says the most important thing, is that you get up and get moving. In this 2 Your Well-Being discussion, Dr. Early explains just how important regular exercise is and how it can help you live longer.

Related: Can you keep up with this 83-year-old Greensboro woman who exercises 5 times a week?!

Get moving at Sagewell Health & Fitness Center. 

What are some health concerns if you don't move your body every day? 

“Health concerns with not moving include increased risks of high blood pressure, other kinds of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol…and even effects on your bones," Dr. Early said. 

Can exercising really help you live longer? 

“Exercising definitely increases your chance of living longer. It decreases your chance of chronic disease and can really help you live a more fulfilled life," she said.

How much exercise do you need? 

“Ideally, we want you to work on getting 150 minutes spread out throughout the week. Regularity is important,” Dr. Early said. She said if you skip a day because you're sick, that's OK! 

How intense should the workout be? 

“Generally, moderate-intensity exercise is an exercise or activity where you can work out but still carry on a conversation around you…you don’t want to be overly taxed,” Dr. Early said. She recommends a balance of cardiovascular exercises, like running, swimming, and walking, with strength training, like lifting weights and using resistance bands. 

What if you don't know where to start? 

"Getting started can be as simple as a ten-minute walk a day. Take a walk first thing in the morning, take a walk in the afternoon. If it’s too hot outside, take a walk around your living room. But just get up and get moving and get started," Dr. Early said. 

Think about it - if you walked 30 minutes a day for five days, you'll hit your weekly 150-minute goal! 

What if you want to lose weight or get fit quickly? 

"A lot of times, we take off like a bullet. We want to reach our goal very quickly and we burn out very quickly. The important thing is to pace yourself. Not push yourself too hard. When you push yourself too hard too fast, you end up with injuries and burnout," Dr. Early said. 

Dr. Early says slow and steady wins the race when it comes to reaching your weight and fitness goals. Making a real change means building healthy habits over time. 

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