Exercise Guidelines for Adults

Exercise Guidelines For Adults, Health Channel

During a discussion on the Health Channel, Joann Santiago-Charles, Oncological Exercise Physiologist with Miami Cancer Institute, comments on some exercise guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Cancer Society. The guidelines state that adults should be doing moderately intense exercise for 150 minutes per week or 60 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. 

Joann says that these are very general guidelines because they do not take into consideration more recent research on post treatment and longevity for cancer patients. The guidelines were created more for what was known about what works for heart disease and diabetes. Joann says that there is still more research that needs to be done to determine guidelines specifically for cancer. 

Joann recommends between 150 to 180 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week for everyone. She says that moderate exercise looks different for everyone. “So moderate for a person who may be 80 years old and is inactive might be walking at 2 miles an hour, whereas a person who is 35 and works during the day, their moderate might be 3.5 miles per hour,” Joann explains. 

Joann adds that not everyone should be doing vigorous activity and that it depends on the person’s aerobic capacity. She explains that with her patients that is usually the first thing she tries to determine. For younger cancer patients, how physically capable they are before treatment is a good indication of how they are going to be after, depending on how long their treatment takes. Some people can tolerate vigorous activity, but it depends on the individual to define what moderate and vigorous is for them.

To figure out how stressful an activity is for you without measuring your heart rate, Joann suggests doing a talk test. While you are doing your activity or exercise of choice, observe how difficult or easy it is for you to carry on a conversation. If you are unable to converse with someone while doing the exercise, it is probably a vigorous activity for you. 

Watch the full segment of Joann Santiago-Charles talking about the exercise guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Cancer Society, here: https://youtu.be/NDHEH-MJ0WM  

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