Exercise Q and A

You've already heard about all the benefits of exercise. From improving your mood and wellbeing to overall health, exercise is an essential part of life. So now, it's time to get into the nitty gritty details about exercise.

Q. How often should I exercise?
A. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you either be sure to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day (such as brisk walking) most days of the week. Or, you opt for at least 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity (such as jogging or running) 3 days a week. Incorporate strength training two days a week to help build lean muscle.

Q. How often should I stretch?
A. You should stretch at least 2-3 times per week before, after, or during exercise. Be sure to stretch all muscle groups from head to toe, and hold them for 15-30 sections.

Q. What if I get short of breath or feel discomfort?
A. Listen to your body and rest. Stop exercising and call your doctor if you have any irregular heartbeats, chest pain, or any other cardiac symptoms.

Q. How do I check my heart rate?
A. Lightly place your index and middle fingers on the thumb-side of your wrist (find the "groove"). Starting with zero, begin counting the number of beats in 10 seconds. Multiply the number of beats by 6.

Q. What if I don't have time for exercise?
A. Exercise is extremely important, so the best thing you can do is make time for it. Think about your schedule and find places to work it in. You could even substitute multiple short workouts each day in place of longer ones if you have trouble finding time for one dedicated work out.

Q. I don't like to run. What other vigorous-intensity workouts can I try?
A. Alternatives include swimming laps; playing tennis (singles); bicycling more than 10 miles per hour or uphill; and circuit training, which combines strength, endurance and aerobic exercises. It's always good to switch up your exercise routine so you don't get bored.

Q. What are some moderate-intensity workouts other than walking and doing chores?
A. Try out dancing, playing basketball, or doing water aerobics to spice up your moderate-intensity workout routines.

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