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What do the experts mean when they say exercise 5 times a week?

You may have heard the recommendation of exercising 5 times a week.  Read on to learn the specifics of exercising 5 times a week.

Why exercise 5 times a week?

Exercise 5 times per week, for 30 minutes each day is found to be effective in reducing risk for diabetes.  If you have diabetes, exercise helps to normalize blood sugar and aid in weight loss.

What type of exercise should be performed 30 minutes a day on 5 days of the week?

Thirty minutes pertains to cardiovascular or aerobic exercise.  A goal of aerobic exercise is to increase your heart rate.  The target heart rate zone is 60-80% (some doctors may advise 50-70%) of maximal heart rate.  Your doctor or diabetes educator can help you find your target heart rate during exercise. 

What are some examples of aerobic exercise?

Exercise that is considered aerobic includes:

  • basketball
  • bicycling
  • cross-country skiing
  • hiking
  • jogging
  • jumping rope
  • rowing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • walking

Focus on exercise involving continuous motion.  "Stop and go" activities tend to be less aerobic.  "Stop and go" activities include baseball, golf, volleyball, football, and bowling.

What is the time commitment?

Factor in time to warm up and cool down when exercising.  Warm up and stretch for 5 minutes before exercising.   Cool down and stretch after exercising.  Stretching helps to avoid injury, increase range of motion, and alleviate post-work out soreness.

Should I check with my doctor first?

As always, check with your doctor prior to starting an exercise program.  Strive to exercise, aerobically, for 30 minutes on 5 of the 7 days each week.

Learn More About Exercise

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