Getting Enough Exercise? Bet You’re Not

only 20pct of americans get enough exerciseThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like walking) every week or 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (like jobbing). CDC. Also recommends that adults work on building strong muscles, too—something for all major muscle groups at least twice per week. Sounds fairly doable, doesn’t it? Sadly, only one fifth of American adults (23% of men, 18% of women) are working out enough, according to the CDC’s grimly titled journal “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMRW).

As you might expect, the percentage of people hitting the physical activity targets varied greatly by state and region, ranging from a high of 27% in Colorado (where just 18.7% of residents are obese) to a low of less than 13% in Tennessee and West Virginia (where a third of the population is obese—the highest rate in the country). Aside from geography, adults’ level of education also influenced the likelihood of being a regular exerciser (or not). 27% of exercising adults were college grads, while those with less than a high-school diploma accounting for only 12%.

Fortunately, there is a glimmer of good news. The MMWR survey found that nationwide nearly 50 percent of adults are getting the recommended amounts of aerobic activity and about 30 percent are engaging in the recommended muscle-strengthening activity. “Although only 20 percent of adults are meeting the overall physical activity recommendations, it is encouraging that half the adults in the United States are meeting the aerobic guidelines and a third are meeting the muscle-strengthening recommendations,” said Carmen D. Harris, M.P.H, epidemiologist in CDC’s physical activity and health branch, in a CDC press release. “This is a great foundation to build upon, but there is still much work to do. Improving access to safe and convenient places where people can be physically active can help make the active choice the easy choice.”


Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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